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Open AccessArticle

Indoor Comfort and Symptomatology in Non-University Educational Buildings: Occupants’ Perception

Instituto Universitario de Arquitectura y Ciencias de la Construcción, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universidad de Sevilla, 41012 Seville, Spain
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Atmosphere 2020, 11(4), 357; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11040357
Received: 14 February 2020 / Revised: 17 March 2020 / Accepted: 2 April 2020 / Published: 7 April 2020
The indoor environment in non-university classrooms is one of the most analyzed problems in the thermal comfort and indoor air quality (IAQ) areas. Traditional schools in southern Europe are usually equipped with heating-only systems and naturally ventilated, but climate change processes are both progressively increasing average temperatures and lengthening the warm periods. In addition, air renewal is relayed in these buildings to uncontrolled infiltration and windows’ operation, but urban environmental pollution is exacerbating allergies and respiratory conditions among the youth population. In this way, this exposure has a significant effect on both the academic performance and the general health of the users. Thus, the analysis of the occupants’ noticed symptoms and their perception of the indoor environment is identified as a potential complementary tool to a more comprehensive indoor comfort assessment. The research presents an analysis based on environmental sensation votes, perception, and indoor-related symptoms described by students during lessons contrasted with physical and measured parameters and operational scenarios. This methodology is applied to 47 case studies in naturally ventilated classrooms in southern Europe. The main conclusions are related to the direct influence of windows’ operation on symptoms like tiredness, as well as the low impact of CO2 concentration variance on symptomatology because they usually exceeded recommended levels. In addition, this work found a relationship between symptoms under study with temperature values and the environmental perception votes, and the special impact of the lack of suitable ventilation and air purifier systems together with the inadequacy of current thermal systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: educational buildings; schools; field measurements; ventilation; indoor air quality (IAQ); thermal comfort; thermal perception; health symptoms; CO2 concentration; air infiltration educational buildings; schools; field measurements; ventilation; indoor air quality (IAQ); thermal comfort; thermal perception; health symptoms; CO2 concentration; air infiltration
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Campano-Laborda, M.Á.; Domínguez-Amarillo, S.; Fernández-Agüera, J.; Acosta, I. Indoor Comfort and Symptomatology in Non-University Educational Buildings: Occupants’ Perception. Atmosphere 2020, 11, 357.

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