A conceptual framework is developed for assessment of client needs, and the measurement and monitoring of client satisfaction levels in the building development process. Data were obtained from qualitative and quantitative surveys of a target population of clients of commercial buildings in South Africa. Satisfaction levels based on multi-attribute measures were compared with those based on single evaluative responses, using Wilcoxon's matched-pair test. Results showed no significant differences in pairwise comparisons. A strong positive correlation also existed between both equivalent measures of client satisfaction levels. These results validate the conceptual framework. Results of evaluation of client satisfaction levels showed that clients perceived average levels of satisfaction in the building development process. Areas for improvement in the services of contractors and consultants were identified through 'Criticality Index' analyses. Empirical models were developed for proactive measurements of client satisfaction levels at distinct stages of the development process. A dynamic approach to satisfaction measurement is recommended. This contrasts with post-purchase and static views adopted in the consumer services segment and enables consultants to monitor and improve satisfaction levels proactively, as the development process evolves.