Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
Session 37: Health and environment
Friday, 27/Aug/2021:
1:00pm - 2:30pm

Session Chair: Dr. Jianshun Zhang, Syracuse University
Location: Room 2 - Room 011, Building: 116

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1:00pm - 1:15pm

Comfortable and safe environments for people with autism: preliminary analysis of risks and definition of priorities in the design phase

Luca Zaniboni, Arianna Marzi, Marco Caniato, Andrea Gasparella

Free University of Bozen-Bolzano, Italy

People with autism deserve specific attention as concern environmental comfort, well-being and accessibility of environments, not only because they are a significant and growing share of the total population, but also because they can show special sensitiveness to the variation and value of several environmental parameters. In this work, the main building-related critical issues connected to the special environmental sensitivity in the autism spectrum condition are highlighted and analysed. By means of a questionnaires’ survey among parents and caregivers of people with autism, their sensitivity to different thermal, visual, acoustic and indoor air quality stimuli was evaluated. Then, a list of risk factors was prepared for a residential context, classifying them into environmental risks, leading to discomfort and dangerous response for people with autism; and accidental risks, deriving from unpredictable events, even more dangerous for people with special perceptual disorders. According to the outcomes of the survey and based on literature considerations, probability and severity of environmental and accidental risks were estimated on a scale from 1 to 5 in the different rooms of residential buildings. This permitted to draw up a hypothetical system of possible interventions and solutions to be considered during the design phase, establishing a different priority in the different rooms of a dwelling, in order to increase the occupant’s comfort, safety and autonomy, and improving physical and psychological well-being.

1:15pm - 1:30pm

Investigating the link between home energy efficiency and self-reported health

Philip Symonds1, Nanda Verschoor2, Zaid Chalabi1, Jon Taylor3, Lu Shuyue1, Michael Davies1

1University College London, United Kingdom; 2CFP Green Buildings, Apeldoorn, Netherlands; 3Tampere University, Finland

The UK has introduced legislation which requires the UK to achieve net zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2050. Improving the energy efficiency of homes is a key priority in achieving this target. Solutions for reducing GHGs associated with homes include minimising unwanted heat losses and decarbonising heating and cooling sources. Making a dwelling more airtight and applying insulation can result in a lower energy demand by reducing unwanted heat transfer through fabric and openings. However, the supply of sufficient outdoor air is required to dilute indoor airborne pollutants. The aim of this research is to investigate the relationship between dwelling energy efficiency, energy consumption and self-reported health at population (LSOA) level for Greater London.

Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) data contains building specific information relating to home energy efficiency including the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP) rating of properties. This data has been processed to provide mean and median air infiltration and U-values at Large Super Output Area (LSOA) level, with each LSOA having a population of typically around 1,700. The EPC data was then matched to the Greater London Authorities’ LSOA Atlas dataset for all LSOAs within the Greater London area (N=4,835). The LSOA Atlas is a large dataset comprised of data from various sources, for example the 2011 UK census. It includes self-reported health metrics such as the percentage of people within an LSOA in “good or very good” health. The LSOA Atlas dataset also contains other variables such as deprivation and air quality indices, and % greenspace. Beta regression has been applied to assess the influence of SAP rating on self-reported health, whilst controlling for income, age and other confounding variables. Preliminary findings indicate that SAP rating has a positive association with the % of people reporting themselves to be in “good or very good” health.

1:30pm - 1:45pm

Study on thermophysiological model suitable for health assessment of showering environment in China

Yuan Ying1, Pengcheng Shi1, Yonghui Li1, Chenhao Duan1, Xue Tan1, Shuichi Hokoi2

1School of Architecture, Southeast University, 210000 Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, P.R. China; 2Architecture Internationalization Demonstration School, Southeast University, 210000 Nanjing, Jiangsu Province, P.R. China

In China, the thermal environment of family showers in old communities is quite different from that of other living spaces, especially when the thermal environment changes drastically during showering, which can easily cause health problems. The human thermal physiological model is an effective tool to predict and evaluate the non-uniform and unstable shower thermal environment and human health risks. The existing multi-node model has wide applicability but poor accuracy, while the multi-element model (simulating the human body as several body parts and no further division made into nodes) is more accurate but too complicated to describe biological tissues. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to develop a simpler human body thermal physiological model without loss of simulation accuracy. The showering experiment was carried out in a typical bathroom in an old community in China, during which environmental parameters such as air temperature, wall temperature and water temperature of the bathroom during the showering were recorded, and physiological parameters such as skin temperature, core temperature and blood pressure during the whole showering process were detected. Based on the multi-node numerical human body model of Stowljik and a cardiovascular control model with human body temperature as the driving force, a temperature-blood pressure coupling prediction model was established. The validity of the proposed model was examined for blood circulation. This prediction model can achieve a temperature accuracy of ±0.2℃ and is verified suitable for the health evaluation of showering environment.

1:45pm - 2:00pm

Development and test of a combined radon sub-slab suction and sub-slab drainage system

Britt Haker Høegh, Thor Hansen, Stig Clausen

Danish Technological Institute, Denmark

To ensure a healthy indoor environment, the indoor air level of the radioactive gas radon must be kept low according to the WHO. This can be achieved by installing a radon sub-slab suction system. In buildings with a basement at the same time a sub-slab drainage system is often necessary. This paper describes results from a project, aiming to combine a radon sub-slab suction system with a sub-slab drainage system. A combined system will minimize the number of pipes when constructing new buildings and will also provide an easier retrofitting method for adding a radon sub-slab suction system to buildings with an existing sub-slab drainage system. In the project, it was found that the combination of the two functionalities required an airtight system to lower the pressure under the ground slab, an unhampered drainage of ground water and a prevention of odour from the drains. To meet these requirements, a prototype of a well with a water trap, a water outlet and a separate suction pipe for the air outlet was developed. A low voltage fan was installed in the suction pipe. The system was installed in a detached house with a 104 m2 basement. After installation, the pressure reduction over the ground slab in the basement was measured to be able to investigate the effect of the suction system independently of the radon exposure. The results showed a reduction of the pressure in the farthest corners under the ground slab by approximately 0.6 to 1.9 Pa compared to the pressure over the ground slab. We concluded that a combined radon sub-slab suction and sub-slab drainage system is possible with the designed well, although the use of a stronger fan will be necessary to meet the identified test objective of pressure reduction ΔP ≥ 1-3 Pa.

2:00pm - 2:15pm

Numerical and experimental investigation of the impact formaldehyde buffering capacity of hemp concrete on IAQ

Anh Dung TRAN LE1, Jianshun S ZHANG2, Zhenlei LIU2, Bing Beverly GUO2, Thierry LANGLET1

1Laboratoire des Technologies Innovantes, EA 3899 – Université de Picardie Jules Verne, IUT Amiens, Avenue des Facultés – Le Bailly, 80025 Amiens Cedex 1, France; 2Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Syracuse University, 263 Link Hall, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY 13244 U.S.A

Hemp lime concrete (HLC) is an environmentally-friendly material that is used more and more in building construction. In this paper, the sorption capacity toward formaldehyde (FOR) which is a typical indoor volatile organic compound (VOC) of HLC has been measured and investigated by using a small environmental chamber under 23°C and 50% RH. The experimental data have been used to evaluate the model parameters related to sorption and diffusion of formaldehyde in hemp concrete using CHAMPS-bio model (Coupled Heat, Air, Moisture and Pollutant Simulation transport model dedicated to Bio-based materials, CHAMPS-Bio) which has been validated experimentally in the previous studies. This model implemented in the environment SPARK (Simulation Problem Analysis and Research Kernel) suited to complex problems can be used to simulate VOC and hygric behavior of building materials under dynamic conditions of humidity and VOC. The model is then applied to study the effect of formaldehyde buffering capacity of hemp lime concrete on indoor air quality (IAQ) of a reference room. The results obtained in this paper which are original and new for hemp concrete showed that this bio-based material can dampen indoor formaldehyde concentration thanks to its formaldehyde buffering capacity.

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