- Abstract A GIS-based method is proposed, which simplifies recording and analysis of post-occupancy changes in residential buildings. Each modification is considered as a unique record in a database, and has a string assigned to it in a multi-parametric matrix. Its position in the matrix is determined by functional relationships with other housing modifications, orientation, adjacent inner and outer spaces, building materials and physical size. The method was tested in three residential neighbourhoods in two towns in the Negev desert of Israel, with the intention of (a) highlighting modifications related to the climatic performance of buildings and (b) developing a set of recommendations aimed at improving the design of new residential buildings. In the buildings surveyed, post-occupancy changes were made primarily in ground-level apartments and in outdoor private spaces. Building modifications appear to vary in different functional areas of the dwelling units, suggesting a connection between dweller preferences and climatic response.