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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(5), 444; doi:10.3390/ijerph13050444

Perceived Indoor Environment and Occupants’ Comfort in European “Modern” Office Buildings: The OFFICAIR Study

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of West Macedonia, Sialvera & Bakola Str., Kozani 50100, Greece
Environmental Research Laboratory, INRASTES, National Center for Scientific Research “DEMOKRITOS”, Aghia Paraskevi Attikis, Athens 15310, Greece
CSTB-Centre Scientifique et Technique du Bâtiment, University of Paris-Est, 84 Avenue Jean Jaurès, Marne-La-Vallée 77447, France
Chair Indoor Environment, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, Delft University of Technology, Delft 2628 GA, The Netherlands
Occupational and Environmental Health Unit, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences “L. Sacco”, University of Milan, Via G.B. Grassi 74, Milan IT-20157, Italy
The Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), Delft 49 2600 AA, The Netherlands
Cooperative Research Centre for Environmental Sciences, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest H-1117, Hungary
Department of Health Protection, National Institute for Health and Welfare, POB 95, Kuopio 70701, Finland
Institute of Science and Innovation in Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Management, INEGI, Rua Dr. Roberto Frias, Porto 4200-465, Portugal
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 29 January 2016 / Revised: 17 April 2016 / Accepted: 19 April 2016 / Published: 25 April 2016
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [305 KB, uploaded 25 April 2016]


Indoor environmental conditions (thermal, noise, light, and indoor air quality) may affect workers’ comfort, and consequently their health and well-being, as well as their productivity. This study aimed to assess the relations between perceived indoor environment and occupants’ comfort, and to examine the modifying effects of both personal and building characteristics. Within the framework of the European project OFFICAIR, a questionnaire survey was administered to 7441 workers in 167 “modern” office buildings in eight European countries (Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain). Occupants assessed indoor environmental quality (IEQ) using both crude IEQ items (satisfaction with thermal comfort, noise, light, and indoor air quality), and detailed items related to indoor environmental parameters (e.g., too hot/cold temperature, humid/dry air, noise inside/outside, natural/artificial light, odor) of their office environment. Ordinal logistic regression analyses were performed to assess the relations between perceived IEQ and occupants’ comfort. The highest association with occupants’ overall comfort was found for “noise”, followed by “air quality”, “light” and “thermal” satisfaction. Analysis of detailed parameters revealed that “noise inside the buildings” was highly associated with occupants’ overall comfort. “Layout of the offices” was the next parameter highly associated with overall comfort. The relations between IEQ and comfort differed by personal characteristics (gender, age, and the Effort Reward Imbalance index), and building characteristics (office type and building’s location). Workplace design should take into account both occupant and the building characteristics in order to provide healthier and more comfortable conditions to their occupants. View Full-Text
Keywords: comfort; indoor air; indoor environmental quality; layout; light; noise; office buildings; open-plan office spaces; perception; thermal comfort comfort; indoor air; indoor environmental quality; layout; light; noise; office buildings; open-plan office spaces; perception; thermal comfort
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Sakellaris, I.A.; Saraga, D.E.; Mandin, C.; Roda, C.; Fossati, S.; de Kluizenaar, Y.; Carrer, P.; Dimitroulopoulou, S.; Mihucz, V.G.; Szigeti, T.; Hänninen, O.; de Oliveira Fernandes, E.; Bartzis, J.G.; Bluyssen, P.M. Perceived Indoor Environment and Occupants’ Comfort in European “Modern” Office Buildings: The OFFICAIR Study. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 444.

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