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Indoor Thermal Comfort of Pregnant Women in Hospital: A Case Study Evidence

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Department of Architecture, University of Bologna, 47521 Cesena, Italy
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Department of Architecture, University of Bologna, 40136 Bologna, Italy
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Architect, University of Bologna, 40136 Bologna, Italy
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(23), 6664; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11236664
Received: 24 October 2019 / Revised: 20 November 2019 / Accepted: 21 November 2019 / Published: 25 November 2019
Despite studies on thermal comfort being consolidated in the scientific literature, people’s well-being in some specific conditions and places, such as hospitals, requires to be further explored. The paper describes the methodological approach adopted to evaluate thermal comfort level and perception of pregnant women hosted in the obstetric ward of a test-bed case (Sant’Orsola hospital in Bologna, Italy). The methodology adopts a mixed approach that compares the results of on-site monitoring by probe (as quantitative data) with the ones of a survey (questionnaire form) delivered to the involved subjects (as qualitative data) to understand if metabolic alteration may influence the pregnant women’s perception of comfort conditions. The first follows ISO 7730, the second, ISO 10551. The comparison between the instrumental collected data and the outcomes of the survey revealed a wide gap between TSV (Thermal Sensation Vote) and PMVm (Predicted Mean Vote, measured on-site). The reason can be identified in the use of a standardized metabolic unit from ISO that does not correctly reflect the physiologic condition of pregnant women. Following a trial and error methodology, a met value for pregnant women is accordingly proposed. Moreover, an adaptive thermal comfort approach is adopted. This research is a first step towards the definition of specific thermal comfort in a hospital ward hosting pregnant women and more generally offers a reflection about the need to define specific met in the standards for some particular categories (children, elderly, pregnant women, etc.) when investigating thermal comfort. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal comfort; hospital; pregnancy; metabolic unit; thermal sensation vote; adaptive thermal comfort thermal comfort; hospital; pregnancy; metabolic unit; thermal sensation vote; adaptive thermal comfort
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Fabbri, K.; Gaspari, J.; Vandi, L. Indoor Thermal Comfort of Pregnant Women in Hospital: A Case Study Evidence. Sustainability 2019, 11, 6664.

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