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What is Occupancy?

After construction is complete, departments and staff are moved into the new facility and/or renovated space for a fully operational facility. While it is encouraged to engage staff throughout the entire design process, it is crucial to provide an orientation to the new facility and/or renovated space, its design features, and equipment to improve the transition from old practices to new.


Occupancy Activities

Activities occurring during occupancy that are led by the healthcare organization include: obtaining feedback from neighborhood leaders, performing community outreach, and planning marketing activities. Activities occurring during occupancy that are led by the design team include licensing.


Evidence-Based Design

In an EBD process, data is often collected after occupancy to evaluate whether hypothesized outcomes have been achieved. After you occupy the building you will complete Step Eight: post-occupancy evaluation.



Feedback can be obtained from public meetings, interviews, focus groups, or surveys. Opinions should be evaluated by a team for the impact on both operations and the patient experience. There are often suggestions which have a minimal impact and little cost to implement, but other suggestions may be out of scope from a financial or strategic perspective. Expectations should be set relative to how suggestions will be evaluated, and in some instances it will be important to follow up directly with those making suggestions to ensure they know their opinions are heard and valued, even if not implemented.

A Temporary Certificate of Occupancy (TCO) is for a temporary period of time and is usually obtained when there is a certain portion of the building the is determined to be habitable while another section is still under construction, or where minor construction is still underway, but it is safe for non-construction personnel to occupy the area.

The procedure and requirements for the Certificate of Occupancy (CO) vary widely from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but this information is often available online. There are typically timeframes associated with both the time from the request for an inspection, as well as the intended occupancy date. The inspection request is made by the Contractor, the Owner, or the Owner’s representative.