Institutions, government, and large corporations control an ever increasing share of building activity, resulting in commun ication problems between clients, designers and users and fre quent misinterpretations of user requirements, particularly con cerning space and environmental criteria. This paper describes a survey of three school environments In terms of facility levels, environmental descriptors and human response measures, not for the purpose of data reporting, but In order to highlight the procedural difficulties and common methodological traps In research on appropriations of space In Institutional setting.