Special Issue "Occupant Comfort and Well-Being"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 September 2018

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Joon-Ho Choi

Building Science, School of Architecture, University of Southern California, 850 West 37th St. WAH #318, Los Angeles, CA 90089, USA
Website | E-Mail
Phone: +1-213-740-4576
Interests: Indoor environmenal quality; Human-Building Integration; Sustainable design; Building energy efficiency; Cyber-Physical System; Adaptive thermal comfort; Bio-sensing adaptive environmental control; Post-occupancy evaluation

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Building performance is critical for environmental sustainability and occupant environmental comfort and wellbeing. This has extensively impacted the growth of numerous environmental designs and technologies in modern architecture’s pursuit of high building performance. However, a lack of understanding of how the environment affects human responses could promote inefficient performance while the environmental comfort and satisfaction of a building’s occupants are compromised. To optimize a building configuration, numerous challenging questions must be answered with regard to design, technical, engineering, psychological, and physiological issues that are relevant to each individual’s comfort, health, and work productivity.

This Special Issue invites scholars to contribute original research and review articles on innovative design, systems, and/or control domains that can enhance occupant comfort, work productivity, and wellbeing in a built environment. Potential research topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Post-occupancy evaluation and measurement
  • Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) (including thermal, visual/lighting, air, acoustic, and/or spatial quality)
  • Occupant IEQ perception and behaviors
  • Innovative/Sustainable design for human physiological benefits
  • Human health and work productivity
  • Intelligent IEQ monitoring and management (systems)
  • Data-driven environmental comfort modelling
  • User-centered environmental control
  • Human factors
  • Human physiological responses
  • Virtual or augmented reality in the built environment
Dr. Joon-Ho Choi
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

  • Indoor environmental quality
  • Sustainability
  • Design/system optimization
  • Occupant-centered approach
  • Innovative building
  • Data-driven approach
  • Evidence-based design

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Indoor Environmental Quality of Urban Residential Buildings in Cuenca—Ecuador: Comfort Standard
Received: 9 May 2018 / Revised: 2 July 2018 / Accepted: 3 July 2018 / Published: 6 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (12226 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
A key factor for achieving healthy environments in residential buildings is the provision of high indoor environmental quality (IEQ) with respect to the acceptance by its occupants, based on levels of the physical parameters which contribute to IEQ. This research focuses on defining
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A key factor for achieving healthy environments in residential buildings is the provision of high indoor environmental quality (IEQ) with respect to the acceptance by its occupants, based on levels of the physical parameters which contribute to IEQ. This research focuses on defining the comfort standards of indoor environments of urban dwellings in the city of Cuenca—Ecuador. It takes into account factors such as temperature, air quality, and natural lightning through a mixed method of quantitative and qualitative measurements. Results determined the following values: a comfort temperature (Tn) of 20.12 °C (with ranges from 16.62 °C to 23.62 °C for an acceptance of 80% and from 17.62 °C to 22.62 °C for an acceptance of 90%), a relative humidity between 40–65%, a maximum CO2 concentration of 614.25 ppm, a day light factor of ≥5 for the social area and ≥4 for the bedroom, and a minimum illumination level of 300 lux. With these results, it was observed that the comfort levels of temperature, CO2 concentration, and lighting accepted by local users differ from the standards established in local and international regulations. The determined data constitutes a methodological basis for carrying out similar processes in other localities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupant Comfort and Well-Being)
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Open AccessArticle The Effects of Low Air Temperatures on Thermoregulation and Sleep of Young Men While Sleeping Using Bedding
Received: 23 April 2018 / Revised: 25 May 2018 / Accepted: 26 May 2018 / Published: 29 May 2018
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Abstract
Most people do not use heating systems during nocturnal sleep in their bedrooms during the cold season in Japan; instead, they like to use extra blankets and quilts for sleeping. To investigate the effect of low air temperature (Ta) on sleep and thermoregulation
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Most people do not use heating systems during nocturnal sleep in their bedrooms during the cold season in Japan; instead, they like to use extra blankets and quilts for sleeping. To investigate the effect of low air temperature (Ta) on sleep and thermoregulation when sleeping with bedding, 12 healthy young men participated in sleep experiments over three non-consecutive nights. The experimental conditions were at a Ta of 3 °C, 10 °C and 17 °C, with a relative humidity (Rh) of 50% and an air velocity of <0.2 m/s in the climatic chambers. The 4.3-clo bedding consisted of cotton sheets, an acrylic blanket, a down-filled quilt and a futon mattress. The average sleep efficiency index (SEI) remained >94% for each of the three Tas, and no disturbances were found by Ta in the sleep parameters, although the duration of rapid eye movement (REM) sleep showed variations at 3 °C. The skin temperature (Ts) of the forehead decreased in proportion to Ta and remained stable. The decreasing rate in rectal temperature (Tre), Ts of forehead and thigh during sleep were significantly greater at 3 °C than at 10 °C and 17 °C. The innermost microclimate temperature (Tmicro) made by the bedding did not correlate with the Tre. The young men were significantly more dissatisfied with 3 °C in the sleep quality evaluation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupant Comfort and Well-Being)
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Open AccessArticle Preventing Dampness Related Health Risks at the Design Stage of Buildings in Mediterranean Climates: A Cyprus Case Study
Received: 20 February 2018 / Revised: 30 March 2018 / Accepted: 22 April 2018 / Published: 1 May 2018
PDF Full-text (18001 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Dampness is a major building challenge that poses a health risk by aiding the growth of mold and other related microorganisms in very humid areas. Thus, the correction of these post-effects results in high maintenance costs via energy consumption, due to the prolonged
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Dampness is a major building challenge that poses a health risk by aiding the growth of mold and other related microorganisms in very humid areas. Thus, the correction of these post-effects results in high maintenance costs via energy consumption, due to the prolonged heating of damp rooms and post-treatment, especially during the winter. A survey of 2000 valid respondents living in apartment-style buildings was conducted and analyzed using SPSS software. In this study, the AutoDesk Computational Fluid Dynamics (ACFD) software was used to perform a simulation for building materials analysis, to evaluate them for suitability in high humidity areas and to select the best building orientation for adequate and natural ventilation. The analysis aimed to observe the indoor air conditions due to environmental air flow conditions. The relationships of the airflow conditions to the material properties were measured. The methodology involves a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis to determine the level and nature of the dampness sources. The Design-Expert Statistical-Software 10 confirmed the simulation results. The simulation revealed a lower percentage of relative humidity and temperature in Adobe walls than in brick walls. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupant Comfort and Well-Being)
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Open AccessArticle On the Influence of Thermal Mass and Natural Ventilation on Overheating Risk in Offices
Received: 19 January 2018 / Revised: 15 March 2018 / Accepted: 20 March 2018 / Published: 22 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (4773 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Free cooling strategies are gaining importance in design practice due to the increased risk of overheating in well-insulated buildings with high internal loads such as offices. The state of the art highlights that the most efficient passive solution for indoor temperature stabilization and
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Free cooling strategies are gaining importance in design practice due to the increased risk of overheating in well-insulated buildings with high internal loads such as offices. The state of the art highlights that the most efficient passive solution for indoor temperature stabilization and control is the integration of thermal mass with an optimized ventilative cooling profile to enhance the thermal cycle of heat storage. Due to its cyclical behavior, thermal mass effects are difficult to predict and quantify with the traditional steady-state approach to building thermal performance. Dynamic thermal simulations help to assess a building’s behavior under transient situations, including the thermal mass influence. However, building codes usually include thermal simulations based on standard assumptions: typical meteorological year (TMY), standard occupancy, standard daily-based lighting and appliances profiles, and standard weekly-based occupancy. Thus, when assumptions change, the actual behavior of the building may vary consistently from the predicted conditions. In this paper, we focused on the ability of thermal mass to contrast the influence of variations from the standard assumptions, especially in relation to climate and ventilation profiles. The results show the necessity of encompassing different risk scenarios when evaluating a free cooling solution performance. Among the different scenarios simulated, natural ventilation misuse shows greater influence on the thermal indoor environment, especially if coupled with low thermal mass. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupant Comfort and Well-Being)
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Open AccessArticle Predicting the Air Quality, Thermal Comfort and Draught Risk for a Virtual Classroom with Desk-Type Personalized Ventilation Systems
Received: 29 December 2017 / Revised: 6 February 2018 / Accepted: 13 February 2018 / Published: 22 February 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (12530 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This paper concerns the prediction of indoor air quality (IAQ), thermal comfort (TC) and draught risk (DR) for a virtual classroom with desk-type personalized ventilation system (PVS). This numerical study considers a coupling of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD), human thermal comfort (HTC)
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This paper concerns the prediction of indoor air quality (IAQ), thermal comfort (TC) and draught risk (DR) for a virtual classroom with desk-type personalized ventilation system (PVS). This numerical study considers a coupling of the computational fluid dynamics (CFD), human thermal comfort (HTC) and building thermal behavior (BTB) numerical models. The following indexes are used: the predicted percentage of dissatisfied people (PPD) index is used for the evaluation of the TC level; the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration in the breathing zone is used for the calculation of IAQ; and the DR level around the occupants is used for the evaluation of the discomfort due to draught. The air distribution index (ADI), based in the TC level, the IAQ level, the effectiveness for heat removal and the effectiveness for contaminant removal, is used for evaluating the performance of the personalized air distribution system. The numerical simulation is made for a virtual classroom with six desks. Each desk is equipped with one PVS with two air terminal devices located overhead and two air terminal devices located below the desktop. In one numerical simulation six occupants are used, while in another simulation twelve occupants are considered. For each numerical simulation an air supply temperature of 20 °C and 24 °C is applied. The results obtained show that the ADI value is higher for twelve persons than for six persons in the classroom and it is higher for an inlet air temperature of 20 °C than for an inlet air temperature of 24 °C. In future works, more combinations of upper and lower air terminal devices located around the body area and more combinations of occupants located in the desks will be analyzed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Occupant Comfort and Well-Being)
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