A survey is a powerful technique for gathering data from large groups of people. In relation to buildings, surveys are typically used for satisfaction measurements, asking people about their satisfaction on a wide range of aspects such as acoustics, temperature levels, the availability of meeting rooms and so on. Such questions are useful in the sense that they can highlight user concerns and areas for improvement. If, for example, a survey shows that 70% of the users are dissatisfied with the acoustics, it is obvious that this should be a major point of attention in the brief.Surveys can also be used to ask people about their daily activities, and thereby their functional needs. Typical questions are What are your five most important activities? or How much time do you spend on the following activities?. The answers to these questions will give the project team an indication of what people do, which can be used to develop the functional brief. A simple example: if people indicate that they do a lot project work, there is likely to be a need for project spacesalthough it would be wise to verify that need in a number of interviews.When looking at survey outcomes, it is important to understand that surveys measure peoples perception of things, which is not necessarily the same as reality. Office workers may, for example, indicate in a survey that they spend most of their time on desk work, while occupancy measurements show that their desks stand empty for much of the time they are available. Another limitation is that surveys provide little insight into the story behind the data. A survey may show that 70% of the users are dissatisfied with the acoustics, but it does not yet explain why this is the case. Additional research will be necessary to establish whether it is a technical issue (e.g. a lack of sound absorption), a design issue (e.g. a high density of workplaces) or a behavioural issue (e.g. people making loud phone calls). In practical terms, it should be noted that setting up a good survey requires a decent grasp of statistics. It can therefore be a good idea to use an existing survey method. This saves time and it comes with the additional benefit of being able to benchmark with other projects, which will help to make sense of the data from ones own project.Recommendations-Communicate clearly to the survey respondents when and why the survey is to be conducted and emphasize that all data will be treated confidentially.-Improve the response rate of the survey by announcing it widely, sending out reminders or rewarding respondents in some small way.-Limit the number of questions. Completing the survey should take no longer than 5 to 10 minutes. -Critically review all survey questions beforehand. What is the purpose of the question and how can the answer be used in the briefing process?-Combine the survey with interviews and an analysis of the buildings design to be better able to interpret the outcomes.-Consider adding open questions to the survey to give people the possibility to come up with ideas and comments.