Conference Agenda

Session 02: Health, performance and environment
Wednesday, 25/Aug/2021:
10:30am - 11:15am

Session Chair: Dr. Marc Abadie, La Rochelle Université
Location: Room 2 - Room 011, Building: 116

10:30am - 10:45am

Relaxing and working from home: associations between heating, ventilation and cooling system typologies and indoor soundscape evaluation

Simone Torresin1,2, Rossano Albatici2, Francesco Aletta3, Francesco Babich1, Tin Oberman3, Agnieszka Elzbieta Stawinoga1, Jian Kang3

1Eurac Research, Italy; 2University of Trento, Italy; 3University College London, UK

The paper presents preliminary findings from an online survey performed within the project ‘Home as a place of rest and work: the ideal indoor soundscape during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond’. Data gathered in January 2021 from 464 participants living London and working from home after the COVID-19 outbreak were analysed, focusing on: (1) the types of building services present at home, (2) the differences in perceived dominance of sounds generated by building services based on building service typology, and the perception of the indoor acoustic environment (i.e. the indoor soundscape) in relation to two main activities performed, i.e. working and relaxing at home, based on (3) the perceived dominance of sounds from building services and (4) the building service typology. Results show that most of participants´ houses had radiators for heating and relied on window opening for ventilation and cooling purposes. Air systems (e.g. HVAC systems, mechanical ventilation, air conditioners) resulted in higher perceived dominance compared to other systems, but only when evaluated in relation to the working-from-home activity. Sound dominance from building services was in turn related to the evaluation of the environment. Spaces with less dominant sounds from building services were evaluated as more appropriate for both working and relaxing at home, and spaces with fewer dominant sounds were assessed better, but just for working from home. Participants´ evaluations were in general not significantly different based on building service typology. The presence of air-cooling systems was associated with better perceived sound environments, most likely due to better acoustics conditions in newly built or retrofitted dwellings, that are more probably equipped with air cooling systems. Preliminary findings point out the importance of carefully considering the dominance of sounds by building services, especially for air systems, in relation to different sensitivities during traditional and new uses of residential buildings.

10:45am - 11:00am

Indoor Air Quality and Energy Performance in UK Classrooms – an Archetype Stock Modelling Approach

Yair Schwartz, Anna Mavrogianni, Daniel Godoy-Shimizu, Jie Dong, Ivan Korolija, Dejan Mumovic, Duncan Grassie

UCL, Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, UK

Children spend a large part of their waking life in school buildings. There is substantial evidence that poor indoor air quality and thermal discomfort can have detrimental impacts on the performance, wellbeing and health of schoolchildren and school staff. Maintaining high Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) in schools is challenging due to the unique challenges facing schools (high and intermittent occupancy densities, high internal heat gains and indoor air pollutants, changes in occupancy patterns throughout the year etc.).

Building stock modelling has been extensively used in recent years to quantify and evaluate current and future energy and indoor environmental quality performance of large numbers of buildings at the neighbourhood, city, regional or national level. As stock models typically represent the diversity of the building stock through an analysis of frequency occurrences of building characteristics, they are highly reliant on the data that describes the stock.

This paper builds on an archetype stock modelling approach to investigate the IEQ of the UK school stock, based on an analysis of an extended database of the stock. While stock models typically examine performance at a school-level only, the proposed method enables the simulation and analysis of IEQ performance at a classroom level within the schools.

This method can be used to investigate IEQ under a range of climate change scenarios and help stakeholders and policy makers understand classroom environments and school performance in a better way.

11:00am - 11:15am

Analysis of the geographical location of IEQ complaints in the workplace through text-mining of online job reviews

Giorgia Chinazzo

Northwestern University, United States of America

Text-mining allows analyzing a large amount of non-structured data, such as online reviews, to gain insights about previously unknown information. Among the large variety of information in online job reviews, the text can also indicate evaluations regarding the workplace's indoor environmental quality (IEQ), describing both its positive and negative aspects. When referring to negative characteristics, online reviews can be considered to report IEQ complaints. This paper uses text-mining techniques to investigate the geographical location of online reviews containing IEQ complaints. The geographical location of IEQ complaints is analyzed with reference to the location in which the job review is posted, both in terms of climate (according to the Köppen-Geiger classification) and country. IEQ complaints are further analyzed considering their distribution between large and small cities, determined through their population. The geographical evaluation of IEQ complaints is performed considering the source of complaint according to the four IEQ factors (i.e., thermal, visual, acoustic, and air quality) and their combination. The results show that the source of IEQ complaints varies according to the climate and the country, even though thermal aspects are always the largest source of discomfort in all countries and climatic zones. The larger rates of thermal complaints are observed in the U.S. and India and could be associated with the operation temperatures adopted in these countries and the extensive use of HVAC systems. This study also shows for the first time that thermal complaints are more numerous in small cities compared to bigger ones and that acoustic, IAQ, and visual complaints prevail in larger cities. This study highlights the great potential of user-generated content to study various aspects of the IEQ, consisting in this case in their geographic distribution. The presented results give information that scientists, practitioners, and policymakers can use to improve the IEQ of various workplaces worldwide.