Special Issue "Human Factors in Green Building"

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 June 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Zhonghua Gou

Griffith School of Environment
Website | E-Mail

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Over the past decades a green building revolution has taken place in the building industry, aiming to incorporates design, construction and operational practices that significantly reduce, eliminate a building’s negative impacts on the environment as well as its occupants [1]. Many countries have announced their green building standards and certification systems: BREEAM, LEED, Green Star, Green Mark and so on [2]. With certified buildings coming into use, post-occupancy studies have been and are being conducted to examine their real performance from users’ perspective [3-5]. These studies contribute important evidence to understanding how green building design could improve occupants’ satisfaction, health and wellbeing, which in turn leads to improved productivity and profitability.

World Green Building Council [6] suggests that health, well-being and productivity should be the next chapter for green building. There is an obvious shift of green building movement from technology-centric towards human-centric, which culminates in recent WELL Building Standard, focusing exclusively on human health and wellness [7]. This special issue aims to push forward the research, discourse and practice of green building towards more human-oriented design solutions. Particularly, this special issue will collect papers on: 

  • WELL Building Standard and worldwide practice
  • Post-occupancy evaluation of green buildings
  • Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
  • Quality of life in low carbon living

References:

[1] Yudelson, J. The Green Building Revolution, Island Press, 2008.

[2] Gou, Z. & Xie ,Z. Evolving green building: triple bottom line or regenerative design? Journal of Cleaner Production. 2017, 153: 600-607.

[3] Altomonte, S. & Schiavon, S. Occupant satisfaction in LEED and non-LEED certified buildings, Build. Environ. 2013, 68: 66–76.

[4] Newsham, G.R. et al., Do ‘green’ buildings have better indoor environments? New evidence, Build. Res. Info. 2013, 41: 415–434.

[5] Gou, Z., Prasad, D. & Lau, S. Are green buildings more satisfactory and comfortable? Habitat International. 2013, 39: 156-161.

[6] WGBC. Health, Wellbeing and Productivity in Offices: The Next Chapter for Green Building, 2014.

[7] International WELL Building Institute. WELL Building Standard® Version 1.0, 2014.

Dr. Zhonghua Gou
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 550 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Green Building
  • WELL
  • Post-occupancy Evaluation
  • Indoor Environment Quality
  • Comfort Health and Wellbeing
  • Productivity
  • Job Satisfaction
  • Quality of Life
  • Use Behaviour

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Occupational Stress and Workplace Design
Buildings 2018, 8(10), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8100133
Received: 16 August 2018 / Revised: 21 September 2018 / Accepted: 21 September 2018 / Published: 23 September 2018
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Abstract
The World Green Building Council (WGBC) advocates improvements in employee health, wellbeing, and productivity in buildings as people are about 90% of an organisation’s expense and well exceed building costs and energy costs. It was reported that earlier research on workplace design primarily
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The World Green Building Council (WGBC) advocates improvements in employee health, wellbeing, and productivity in buildings as people are about 90% of an organisation’s expense and well exceed building costs and energy costs. It was reported that earlier research on workplace design primarily focused on physical arrangement of employees’ immediate work area, and ambient environmental qualities of the work area. Building organisation, exterior amenities, and site-planning have been given less attention. Therefore, we examine more closely the health relevance of both proximal and remote aspects of workplace design. Occupational stress is a complex phenomenon that is dynamic and evolving over time. This investigation reviews the existing fundamental conceptual models of occupational stress, workplace design, and connection to nature. It aims to develop an improved model relevant to work place design and occupational stress linked with connection to nature. The proposed improved model is presented with an appropriate causal loop diagram to assist in visualizing how different variables in a system are interrelated. The developed model highlights how connection to nature in workspaces can function as a work resource with a dual effect of improving physical wellbeing and psychological wellbeing. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Role of Personal Control in Alleviating Negative Perceptions in the Open-Plan Workplace
Buildings 2018, 8(8), 110; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8080110
Received: 26 July 2018 / Revised: 11 August 2018 / Accepted: 13 August 2018 / Published: 14 August 2018
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Abstract
Today’s office buildings adopt open-plan settings for collaboration and space efficiency. However, the open plan setting has been intensively criticized for its adverse user experiences, such as noise, privacy loss, and over cooling. The provision of personal control in open-plan work environments is
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Today’s office buildings adopt open-plan settings for collaboration and space efficiency. However, the open plan setting has been intensively criticized for its adverse user experiences, such as noise, privacy loss, and over cooling. The provision of personal control in open-plan work environments is an important means to alleviating the adverse perceptions. This research is to investigate the relationship between the availability of personal controls and the degree of control over the physical environment, as well as their effectiveness in alleviating adverse perceptions in open-plan workplaces. The study combined three systematic occupant survey tools and collected responses from open-plan offices in Shenzhen, China. Specifically, this survey covered 12 personal controls in open-plan workplaces; respondents were asked to report their degree of control over the physical environment and also were required to report if they had adverse perceptions such as sick building syndrome in their offices. The results showed that most of the 12 personal controls supported perceived degree of control over the physical environment but only half of them were negatively associated with adverse perceptions. Non-mechanical controls, such as windows and blinds, were found to be more effective than mechanical controls such as fans and air-conditioning in alleviating adverse perceptions. Conflicts were found between task/desk lights and other personal controls. The research generates important evidence for the interior design of open-plan offices. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle The Impact of Outdoor Views on Students’ Seat Preference in Learning Environments
Received: 10 June 2018 / Revised: 4 July 2018 / Accepted: 24 July 2018 / Published: 28 July 2018
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Abstract
A Good learning environment should support students’ choices and attract them to stay. Focusing on outdoor views, this research explores two questions: How important outdoor views are in seat selection in learning environments? How do the view elements influence students’ seating behaviors in
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A Good learning environment should support students’ choices and attract them to stay. Focusing on outdoor views, this research explores two questions: How important outdoor views are in seat selection in learning environments? How do the view elements influence students’ seating behaviors in learning environments? A seat preference survey and view elements and occupancy rate measurements were conducted in a university library building in Gold Coast, Australia. This study not only echoes the previous research indicating that territory and privacy are important factors for choosing seats in a learning environment; more importantly, this study contributes to the literature with evidence that outdoor views might be an important factor for seat preference. Specifically, sky views and shading views were found positively related to occupancy rate. Based on this point, open views with appropriate shading were found as an optimal outdoor view composition. The singularity of greenery views would less likely be attractive to building occupants. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Translating across Disciplines: On Coding Interior Architecture Theory to Advance Complex Indoor Environment Quality
Received: 29 March 2018 / Revised: 5 June 2018 / Accepted: 14 June 2018 / Published: 21 June 2018
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Abstract
While indoor environment quality (IEQ) measurement is an established process, it omits the pleasure of interior environments, possibly due to its perceived subjectivity in the context of objective productivity and profitability. Given the significant commercial interior design industry, which engages with the complexity
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While indoor environment quality (IEQ) measurement is an established process, it omits the pleasure of interior environments, possibly due to its perceived subjectivity in the context of objective productivity and profitability. Given the significant commercial interior design industry, which engages with the complexity of indoor habitation, there exists an opportunity to expand the scope of IEQ appraisal through inclusion of the interior architecture discipline as an IEQ stakeholder. This theoretical paper reframes existing building appraisal as convergent methods that are contingent on the discipline and audience, and proposes a sequential mixed methods research process that allows subjective and objective research methods integration. Drawing on the interior architecture discipline, and its holistic ‘interiority’, a content analysis of selected theoretical texts identifies candidate quality components for future development and use in environment quality measurement. The intention of this process is to translate across the interior architecture and architectural science disciplines by coding interior architecture perspectives into possible measurable variables. These broader candidate variables would likely be more inclusive of the lived experience and agency of occupants of interior spaces. Furthermore, they offer the possibility for extended complex indoor environment quality data for future use in advanced statistics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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Open AccessArticle The Design of Local-Authority Rental Housing for the Elderly That Improves Their Quality of Life
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 3 May 2018 / Accepted: 11 May 2018 / Published: 16 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1402 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
As the population ages, the demand for suitable rental housing will increase. Suitable housing means housing that can accommodate those impairments that typically correspond with ageing. This paper explores the quality of life (QoL) requirements of those elderly with high-care needs who live
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As the population ages, the demand for suitable rental housing will increase. Suitable housing means housing that can accommodate those impairments that typically correspond with ageing. This paper explores the quality of life (QoL) requirements of those elderly with high-care needs who live in rental housing. Using a qualitative case study approach, it examines the living experiences of six elderly people who need assistance and are living in local-authority rental housing in New Zealand. The themes of QoL were identified from the literature and related to the larger themes of; 1. Activities and independence, 2. Sense of control, 3. Privacy, 4. Relationships, 5. Quality of care, and 6. Comfort. The survey consisted of a detailed documentation of the physical environment, followed by interviews with and full-day observations of the residents and their caregivers. The study finds that the design of housing that improves their QoL requires solutions to accommodate the various conflicting needs for their QoL that include those derived from the diversity in the user’s preferences and impairments. In the design of rental housing, there is greater need for additional or reorganized space to accommodate caregivers and visitors, maintain residents’ independence, privacy, and other aspects important for their QoL. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Design Lessons from Three Australian Dementia Support Facilities
Received: 30 March 2018 / Revised: 30 April 2018 / Accepted: 4 May 2018 / Published: 7 May 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (65122 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a significant increase in the number of people with dementia, and the demand for residential support facilities is expected to increase. Providing an appropriate living environment for residents with dementia, which can cater for their specific needs is crucial. Residential aged
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There is a significant increase in the number of people with dementia, and the demand for residential support facilities is expected to increase. Providing an appropriate living environment for residents with dementia, which can cater for their specific needs is crucial. Residential aged care design can impact the quality of life and wellbeing of the residents. In this investigation, three recently constructed dementia support facilities in Victoria, Australia are selected for evaluation. Through fieldwork observation, design evaluation and space syntax analysis, the aim of this investigation is to consider the design of these three facilities in the context of current evidence on how the built environment can best accommodate residents with dementia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Thermal Comfort Analyses of Secondary School Students in the Tropics
Received: 1 March 2018 / Revised: 1 April 2018 / Accepted: 7 April 2018 / Published: 10 April 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (16815 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study aims to analyze the thermal comfort level of students in secondary schools in the tropical city of Makassar. The analysis is carried out based on data surveyed from eight selected high schools. The study involved 1594 students in 48 classrooms. The
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This study aims to analyze the thermal comfort level of students in secondary schools in the tropical city of Makassar. The analysis is carried out based on data surveyed from eight selected high schools. The study involved 1594 students in 48 classrooms. The recorded data includes personal data and measured environmental parameters. At the same time, students were asked to fill out questionnaires related to their thermal comfort levels. The surveyed classrooms showed high air temperatures. The air temperatures ranged from 28.2 °C in the morning to 33.6 °C in the midday. The radiant temperatures were similar to the air temperature, which indicated that the airflow speed was low. The only parameter that could meet the Indonesian national standard was relative humidity. However, many students still feel comfortable (−1 to +1) based on TSV (thermal sensation vote) and TCV (thermal comfort vote). Even though about 80% of respondents accepted this hot temperature, most of them preferred to have a decrease in the air temperature. Regarding the PMV (predicted mean vote), only about 23% respondents were predicted to feel slightly warm (+1). The regression analyses show that the neutral temperatures were 29.0 °C and 28.5 °C for TSV and TCV, respectively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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Open AccessArticle Characteristics of Thermal Comfort Conditions in Cold Rural Areas of China: A Case study of Stone Dwellings in a Tibetan Village
Received: 2 March 2018 / Revised: 20 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 26 March 2018
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Abstract
This paper focuses on thermal environmental conditions in the stone dwellings of a Tibetan village in Danba County, Sichuan, China, in winter. During the study, field measurements and subjective survey studies were collected, simultaneously, to provide a comprehensive understanding of the thermal comfort
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This paper focuses on thermal environmental conditions in the stone dwellings of a Tibetan village in Danba County, Sichuan, China, in winter. During the study, field measurements and subjective survey studies were collected, simultaneously, to provide a comprehensive understanding of the thermal comfort conditions that were experienced by residents in cold rural areas of Sichuan. Subjective surveys involved questions about thermal comfort perceptions and acceptability in cold conditions. The status of thermal comfort and characteristics of indoor environmental qualities were investigated in the study. The majority of survey participants (47% and 74%) voted as “slightly cool” for temperature, and “slightly dry” for humidity in the studied typical winter days, respectively. The available adaptive opportunities for the residents were investigated through the survey studies. Adjusting clothing, drinking hot beverages, blocking air infiltration through windows, and changing activities were the most common adaptive measures. An adaptive coefficient ( λ ) was determined based on adaptive predicted mean votes (aPMV) models using least square methods to assess the different adaptation measures in the region. Findings of this study provided a valuable reference for thermal comfort adaptations in cold climates, where limited adaptive opportunities were available due to the low standard of living. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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Open AccessArticle Are Mental Biases Responsible for the Perceived Comfort Advantage in “Green” Buildings?
Received: 8 January 2018 / Revised: 25 January 2018 / Accepted: 27 January 2018 / Published: 30 January 2018
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Abstract
Previous research has shown that merely calling an indoor environment environmentally certified will make people favor that environment over a conventional alternative. In this paper we explore whether this effect depends on participants deliberately comparing the two environments, and whether different reasons behind
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Previous research has shown that merely calling an indoor environment environmentally certified will make people favor that environment over a conventional alternative. In this paper we explore whether this effect depends on participants deliberately comparing the two environments, and whether different reasons behind the certification influence the magnitude of the effect. In Experiment 1, participants in a between-subjects design assigned higher comfort ratings to an indoor environment that had been labeled “environmentally certified” in comparison with the exact same indoor environment that was unlabeled, suggesting that the effect arises even when participants do not compare the two environments when making their estimates. The results from Experiment 2 indicate that climate change mitigation (as the reason for the certification) is a slightly better trigger of the effect compared to climate change adaptation. The results suggest that studies on psychological effects of “green” buildings should experimentally control for the influence from participants’ judgmental biases. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle An Investigation of Thermal Comfort and Adaptive Behaviors in Naturally Ventilated Residential Buildings in Tropical Climates: A Pilot Study
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 3 January 2018
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Abstract
This article presents a pilot study of thermal comfort and adaptive behaviors of occupants who live in naturally ventilated dormitories at the campus of the National University of Singapore. A longitudinal survey and field measurement were conducted to measure thermal comfort, adaptive behaviors
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This article presents a pilot study of thermal comfort and adaptive behaviors of occupants who live in naturally ventilated dormitories at the campus of the National University of Singapore. A longitudinal survey and field measurement were conducted to measure thermal comfort, adaptive behaviors and indoor environment qualities. This study revealed that occupants living in naturally ventilated buildings in tropics were exposed to higher operative temperatures than what American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) comfort standards recommend for naturally conditioned spaces. However, they still felt that such conditions were acceptable. Two behavioral adjustments were found to have profound impacts on occupants’ acceptance of the imposed heat stresses: (1) increasing the indoor air velocity by turning on mechanical fans and opening the door/windows for cross ventilation, and (2) reducing clothing insulation by changing clothes and dressing in fewer clothes. Higher indoor air velocities were also associated with greater satisfaction with indoor air quality. The future study should develop a statistical model to correlate adaptive behaviors with temperature variations for tropical climates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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Open AccessArticle Patients’ Perspectives on the Design of Hospital Outpatient Areas
Buildings 2017, 7(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings7040117
Received: 23 October 2017 / Revised: 26 November 2017 / Accepted: 1 December 2017 / Published: 5 December 2017
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (252 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
There is a growing interest among healthcare managers and designers in moving towards a ‘patient-centred’ design of health and care facilities by integrating patient perceptions and expectations of the physical environment where care takes place. Increased interests in physical environments can mostly be
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There is a growing interest among healthcare managers and designers in moving towards a ‘patient-centred’ design of health and care facilities by integrating patient perceptions and expectations of the physical environment where care takes place. Increased interests in physical environments can mostly be attributed to our improved understanding of their role in patients’ health outcomes and staff productivity. There is a gap in the literature on users’ perspectives on physical settings in the context of healthcare. Moreover, the connection of care services with the design of the facility is often overlooked partly due to the lack of evidence. This research was aimed at filling the gap by exploring outpatients’ perspectives on design factors related to the areas frequented by them, e.g., hospital waiting areas. A 16-item questionnaire was conducted among randomly selected outpatients in two hospitals in Qingdao, China, with a response rate of 84.3%. Five principal factors were identified: sensory; lighting and thermal; facilities; spatial; and seating design, which agreed with the literature. Non-parametric tests were applied to assess variances in constructed principal dimensions concerning demographic variables. Female outpatients were found to be more perceptive of the ‘sensory design’ factors than males. The number of previous visits to the hospital was found to be associated with ‘spatial’ and ‘seating design’ factors, while respondents’ age had an association with ‘sensory’ and ‘seating design’ factors. Respondents ranked ‘noise’ and ‘air freshness’ and ‘cleanliness’ as highly important. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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