Topic Editors

Dr. Wei Liu
Assistant Professor, Division of Sustainable Buildings, Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Brinellvägen 23, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Prof. Dr. Manuel Carlos Gameiro da Silva
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Dr. Dayi Lai
Department of Architecture, School of Design, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

Built Environment and Human Comfort

Abstract submission deadline
20 March 2023
Manuscript submission deadline
20 May 2023
Viewed by
16893

Topic Information

Dear Colleagues,

A built environment is designed and created to ensure the health, comfort, safety, and productivity of occupants. Since humans’ interaction with the environment is through senses such as touch, sight, hearing, smell, and taste, and each of these senses leads to a certain degree of comfort, human assessment is affected by a great number of different factors. If those factors are not addressed properly, it would lead to poor levels of comfort, to discomfort, or even to harm and ill health for occupants. Regardless of the personal factors, aspects of human comfort include thermal environment, visual ambiance, acoustics, indoor air quality, and hygienic comfort. The approaches to dealing with these stressors can act independently or in conjunction. Furthermore, energy consumption and environmental impact should also be considered. A built environment can be an indoor environment, such as building rooms and passenger compartments of transport vehicles, or an outdoor environment, such as urban open spaces. We invite scientists and engineers to contribute with their research papers on various aspects of the built environment and human comfort in this Topic.

Dr. Wei Liu
Prof. Dr. Manuel Carlos Gameiro Da Silva
Dr. Dayi Lai
Topic Editors

Keywords

  • thermal comfort
  • visual ambiance
  • acoustics
  • indoor air quality
  • hygienic comfort
  • indoor environment
  • outdoor environment

Participating Journals

Journal Name Impact Factor CiteScore Launched Year First Decision (median) APC
Acoustics
acoustics
- - 2019 17.2 Days 1600 CHF Submit
Buildings
buildings
3.324 3.8 2011 14.3 Days 2000 CHF Submit
CivilEng
civileng
- - 2020 19.1 Days 1000 CHF Submit
Climate
climate
- 4.7 2013 13.9 Days 1600 CHF Submit
Energies
energies
3.252 5.0 2008 15.5 Days 2200 CHF Submit
Environments
environments
- 5.2 2014 19.6 Days 1500 CHF Submit
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ijerph
4.614 4.5 2004 20.1 Days 2500 CHF Submit
Sustainability
sustainability
3.889 5.0 2009 17.7 Days 2200 CHF Submit

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Published Papers (25 papers)

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Article
Combined Annoyance Assessment of Ship Structural Vibration and Ambient Noise
Buildings 2023, 13(2), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13020363 (registering DOI) - 28 Jan 2023
Viewed by 133
Abstract
Background: Noise and vibration are environmental pollutants that endanger people’s productivity and sleep quality in ships, but the coupled effect in ship cabins has not been studied. This study aimed to assess the coupled effect of noise and vibration in ship cabins and [...] Read more.
Background: Noise and vibration are environmental pollutants that endanger people’s productivity and sleep quality in ships, but the coupled effect in ship cabins has not been studied. This study aimed to assess the coupled effect of noise and vibration in ship cabins and propose a comfortable range of noise and vibration. Methods: Three different accommodation cabins were chosen to measure noise and vibration levels and investigate their satisfaction. A revised model combining exponential membership functions was proposed to reveal the relationship between noise and vibration level and its response. The annoyance rate from greater to lesser was classified as A, B, C, D, and E. Results: All measurement levels were satisfied with the acceptance ranges of standards. While subjects felt high annoyance in the crew lounge, subjects in passenger and dining cabins felt slightly annoyed. Conclusions: By combining measurements and subjective investigations, the prediction performance of the revised annoyance model was verified. The noise level reached 57.5 dB(A), and the acoustic condition had a greater impact on subjective feelings than the vibration level. For grade E demands, the vibration level should be lower than 0.095 m/s2, and the noise level should be less than 54 dB(A). Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
A Comparison of Students’ Thermal Comfort and Perceived Learning Performance between Two Types of University Halls: Architecture Design Studios and Ordinary Lecture Rooms during the Heating Season
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021142 - 07 Jan 2023
Viewed by 375
Abstract
In classrooms, several variables may affect students’ thermal comfort, and hence health, well-being, and learning performance. In particular, the type of learning activity may play a role in students’ thermal comfort. However, most of the previous research has mainly investigated the thermal comfort [...] Read more.
In classrooms, several variables may affect students’ thermal comfort, and hence health, well-being, and learning performance. In particular, the type of learning activity may play a role in students’ thermal comfort. However, most of the previous research has mainly investigated the thermal comfort of students in ordinary classrooms, while less attention has been paid to students’ thermal comfort in classrooms with particular learning activities, such as architecture design studios, where students spend a long time and perform learning activities with high metabolic rates. For this purpose, we compared the thermal comfort and perceived learning performance of students majoring in architecture (n = 173) between two types of university halls, namely, design studios and typical lecture rooms (N = 15). We applied the classroom–comfort–data method, which included collecting physical, physiological, and psychological data from students and classrooms. Data were collected during the heating season (November 2021–January 2022) in a university building in Jordan. We conducted continuous monitoring combined with periodic measures for indoor temperature, relative humidity, mean radiant temperature, and air speed. Questionnaires, focus groups, and observations were also used to collect subjective data from students. The results showed statistically significant differences (Δμ = 3.1 °C, p < 0.01, d = 0.61) in indoor temperature between design studios and lecture rooms. Only 58% of students’ votes were within the ASHRAE 55-2107 recommended comfort zone. In design studios, 53% of students felt warm compared to 58.8% of students who had a cold sensation in lecture rooms. Students perceived themselves as more productive when they felt cooler. Our research’s significance lies in its injunction that there must be a special thermal comfort guide for educational buildings that are adapted to the local environment and functions of the spaces, cooperatively. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Subjective Impression of an Office with Biophilic Design and Blue Lighting: A Pilot Study
Buildings 2023, 13(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13010042 - 24 Dec 2022
Viewed by 414
Abstract
This paper investigates and compares people’s subjective impression of an office with a biophilic design and blue lighting. Existing studies have examined their influence on perception separately, but how they compare is unclear. Additionally, only a few studies have used an office setting [...] Read more.
This paper investigates and compares people’s subjective impression of an office with a biophilic design and blue lighting. Existing studies have examined their influence on perception separately, but how they compare is unclear. Additionally, only a few studies have used an office setting as a case study. To address this research gap, this study collected people’s ratings and rankings of four simulated interior scenes of a private office using an online survey. The scenes include blue lighting, a biophilic design with daylight and view, a biophilic design with indoor plants, and a non-biophilic baseline with conventional white lighting. A total of 284 complete responses were collected and analyzed using a mixed-effect model. It was found that the two biophilic designs improved people’s perception of the office compared to the base case. The biophilic design with access to daylight and view outperformed the space with indoor plants in all the examined perceptual categories, specifically how the office space was perceived by participants as brighter, more comfortable, and spacious. On the contrary, the space with blue lighting decreased people’s ratings in most perceptual attributes in comparison to the baseline. The negative influence was notably significant in how lively, comfortable, bright, and appealing the space was perceived as being by participants. Subjects’ preference rankings of the four simulated office spaces showed a similar pattern. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Review
Transformation of Children’s Paintings into Public Art to Improve Public Spaces and Enhance People’s Happiness
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(24), 16780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192416780 - 14 Dec 2022
Viewed by 528
Abstract
Characteristics of children’s paintings have been suggested considered for application in public art since they are known to positively evoke a sense of well-being when people see them. This study aims to understand the impact of artistic features from children’s drawings on people’s [...] Read more.
Characteristics of children’s paintings have been suggested considered for application in public art since they are known to positively evoke a sense of well-being when people see them. This study aims to understand the impact of artistic features from children’s drawings on people’s well-being; then analyzing the adaptive design principles of 3D public art featuring children’s paintings on people’s happiness; and finally, exploring the influence of 3D public art featuring children’s paintings on improving public spaces and enhancing people’s well-being. The results lead to proposing a conceptual framework for public artworks in public spaces for improving people’s happiness. The proposed conceptual framework recommends that, by applying the visual and thinking features of children’s paintings to public art, artists can design high-quality artworks suitable for a city, which could improve people’s happiness in public spaces. This study recommends further research into how public art can promote public spaces and shape the urban culture. It contributes to enhancing the quality of public art and public spaces, and inspiring a sense of well-being among citizens through the use of appropriate public art. The results are significant because they will help artists to create more high-quality public artworks for urban public spaces in order to evoke people’s happiness. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
The Impact of Evaluated Daylight to the Total Light Ratio on the Comfort Level in Office Buildings
Buildings 2022, 12(12), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12122161 - 07 Dec 2022
Viewed by 524
Abstract
One of the main challenges in visual comfort assessment is controlling daylight in indoor spaces. The effect of daylight’s contribution to total light is one of the variables influencing how people perceive illumination in an indoor environment. This study investigates the optimal day-light-to-total [...] Read more.
One of the main challenges in visual comfort assessment is controlling daylight in indoor spaces. The effect of daylight’s contribution to total light is one of the variables influencing how people perceive illumination in an indoor environment. This study investigates the optimal day-light-to-total light ratio that delivers the most satisfaction with the lighting environment. Therefore, a subjective survey of 509 questionnaires and field measurements in six office buildings in Tehran with a total of 257 rooms was conducted to assess lighting quality (daylight and artificial light). Furthermore, the effects of building characteristics and seasons on the acceptable range of daylight ratio are investigated. The results reveal that occupants prefer daylight to total light ratio ranging between 0.56 and 0.8. In contrast, occupants reported that a ratio less than 0.4 was unacceptable. It was also found that the optimum daylight-to-total light ratio is influenced by the season and the building characteristics. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Towards Improving Rural Living Environment for Chinese Cold Region Based on Investigation of Thermal Environment and Space Usage Status
Buildings 2022, 12(12), 2139; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12122139 - 05 Dec 2022
Viewed by 489
Abstract
In recent years, many scholars worldwide have carried out research related to the relationship between the construction of rural dwellings and the indoor thermal environment in response to the issue of building sustainability. China’s rural revitalization has developed rapidly in recent years. Although [...] Read more.
In recent years, many scholars worldwide have carried out research related to the relationship between the construction of rural dwellings and the indoor thermal environment in response to the issue of building sustainability. China’s rural revitalization has developed rapidly in recent years. Although previous research showed that the poor indoor thermal environment of vernacular dwellings has negative effects on residents’ thermal comfort and health, it is poorly studied in terms of residents’ space usage habits, their thermal comfort satisfaction, and their thermal sensation. Linyi, the largest and most populous city in Shandong, China, was selected as the research area to investigate the thermal environment and space usage by using in-depth questionnaire interviews and systematical measurements. The results show that there are seasonal differences in space usage in a typical vernacular dwelling. The field measurements show that the indoor temperature is 0–5 °C in winter if there is no heating and 26 °C in summer. By comprehensive comparison, it is found that there is a contradiction between residential space usage and the functional layout; residents choose to use rooms with worse thermal conditions in winter. The analysis of the questionnaires shows that residents have higher satisfaction with the indoor thermal environment in summer than in winter, and the thermal comfort range of residents is 23.3~30 °C in summer and 11.25~17.5 °C in winter. Additionally, the neutral thermal temperature of the indoor space is 26.7 °C in summer and 14.4 °C in winter. Although residents have better adaptability to the cold climate, the measurement data in winter are still beyond the comfort range. We suggest that these results can be used as a reference and data base for improving the living environment of rural vernacular dwellings in Chinese cold regions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Review
Anthropo-Mechanical Cradles: A Multidisciplinary Review
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315759 - 26 Nov 2022
Viewed by 573
Abstract
Domestic cradles are beds that are movable but non-mobile for babies up to five months of age. The “anthropo-mechanical” cradle simulates the physiological movement of the human body. The article reviews scientific literature discussing the impacts of swinging on infants, provides classifications of [...] Read more.
Domestic cradles are beds that are movable but non-mobile for babies up to five months of age. The “anthropo-mechanical” cradle simulates the physiological movement of the human body. The article reviews scientific literature discussing the impacts of swinging on infants, provides classifications of all currently used cradles due to how the child moves, and briefly describes modern technologies within cradle automation. This made it possible to calculate and propose safe motion parameters within mechatronic cradles. The main conclusions of the article are as follows: (1) the scientific literature reports the beneficial effects of harmonic movement on a child, (2) motion analyses substantiating the classifications of all cradles into six types (tilting, yawing, hammock, Sarong, swing, and surging cradle; the classification criterion included the nature of the cradle movement in relation to the planes and anatomical axes of the child’s body), (3) modern technologies allowing for the use of movement with thoughtful parameters, thus, safer for a child, (4) movement within the parameters similar to the motion and speed passively performed by the child in the womb while a mother is walking was considered beneficial and safe, and (5) the use of advanced technology allows for the possibility to devise and create an automatic mechatronic cradle with a child-safe motion. Future innovative anthropo-mechanical cradles that follow physiological human motion parameters can be used safely, with a vertical amplitude ranging from −13 to + 15 mm and a frequency of up to 2 Hz. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Analysis of the Influence of the Gas Infrared Heater and Equipment Element Relative Positions on Industrial Premises Thermal Conditions
Energies 2022, 15(22), 8749; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15228749 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 498
Abstract
The creation of local heated areas in large-sized premises using systems based on gas infrared heaters has recently become the most rational alternative in terms of energy efficiency. However, the lack of information about the thermal characteristics in such areas limits the effective [...] Read more.
The creation of local heated areas in large-sized premises using systems based on gas infrared heaters has recently become the most rational alternative in terms of energy efficiency. However, the lack of information about the thermal characteristics in such areas limits the effective application of these systems. To determine the main thermal parameters characterizing the scheduled thermal conditions in heated local working areas of industrial premises, experimental and mathematical modeling of heat transfer processes in a closed area with the presence of equipment in it was carried out. The experimental area was equipped with a gas infrared heater and a model of the equipment (a horizontally oriented panel). The system of equations of thermal conductivity, radiant heat transfer, as well as energy and Navier–Stokes was solved by the finite element method. A significant influence of the equipment position on the temperature field and the air movement hydrodynamics in the local working area has been established. The equipment presence in the room intensifies the air movement due to thermal convection and, as a result, a more uniform temperature distribution over the local working area was obtained. Analysis of the obtained results shows the possibility to control the temperature fields’ formation in local working areas during the gas infrared heater operation by varying the position and configuration of the equipment in the room. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Specific Needs of Patients and Staff Reflected in the Design of an Orthopaedic and Rehabilitation Hospital—Design Recommendations Based on a Case Study (Poland)
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 15388; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192215388 - 21 Nov 2022
Viewed by 419
Abstract
This article presents results of the research conducted with the use of participatory methods by the Faculty of Architecture, Poznan University of Technology on architectural design of healthcare facilities. The studies concerned the needs of patients and hospital staff in an orthopaedic and [...] Read more.
This article presents results of the research conducted with the use of participatory methods by the Faculty of Architecture, Poznan University of Technology on architectural design of healthcare facilities. The studies concerned the needs of patients and hospital staff in an orthopaedic and rehabilitation hospital. Preferences and expectations of all the users of healthcare facilities should be considered as early as at the stage of planning and designing. The hospital profile and the type of its users predetermine the architectural design in the area of the building functions, its internal circulation and interior design. Participation of the user in the process of compiling design recommendations is a chance for a designer to confront the original assumptions with expectations and to adjust relevant solutions to factual needs of the users. This study, undertaken in a regional setting, provided an in-depth exploration of staff’s experiences of hospital space to indicate possible spatial improvements. Methods: The research was conducted on the basis of a case study of a renowned regional orthopaedic and rehabilitation hospital in Poznan, Poland. Rapid assessment methods and questions were examined to describe current approaches and synthesize results. Semi-structured interviews and thematic analysis identified staff and patient’s experiences. Result: Participation of hospital staff and patients resulted in design recommendations of high utility value. It was found that the two groups to a certain extent proposed similar recommendations; however, certain proposals submitted by the two groups were totally opposite. Conclusion: the research highlighted the importance of the active research methodology that engages the researcher/expert in the action and critical reflection process. Such a methodology can successfully underlie the formulation of accurate recommendations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Comfort Assessment and Optimization Based on FE Simulation for High-Speed Train Seats: Comparison with Different Design Parameters
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 15185; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142215185 - 16 Nov 2022
Viewed by 463
Abstract
Nowadays, riding comfort is more significant than before for evaluating the quality of high–speed railways and sitting is the most common posture for its passengers. This study aimed to analyze and optimize the pressure distribution and sitting comfort of second–class seats with different [...] Read more.
Nowadays, riding comfort is more significant than before for evaluating the quality of high–speed railways and sitting is the most common posture for its passengers. This study aimed to analyze and optimize the pressure distribution and sitting comfort of second–class seats with different design parameters. Firstly, 21 pressure features were calculated after the field sitting tests conducted on a CRH Train. The subjective comfort was quantified as a linear combination of 6 pressure features in 21, which were selected using stepwise regression analysis (R2 = 0.684). A seat-human finite element model was established using THUMS for a human body and MAT_57 for the seat foam. Finally, this study analyzed the effects of foam and seat angles on interface pressure distribution and comfort ratings. The set of design parameters with the highest comfort was selected from 12 free combinations. The results show that the seat foam with less stiffness may not improve sitting comfort due to the asymmetry of the seat frame. Moreover, appropriately increasing the stiffness of the cushion and backrest will not lead to a decrease in subjective feelings and the pressure distribution becomes more reasonable as the inclination angle increases within 10 degrees. The final optimization increases the computational comfort of the seat-human model by 6.5 in a −50 to 50 scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Numerical Simulation of the Thermal Environment during Summer in Coastal Open Space and Research on Evaluating the Cooling Effect: A Case Study of May Fourth Square, Qingdao
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 15126; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142215126 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 422
Abstract
Urban green space is considered an important part of urban ecological construction be-cause of the efficiency of green space in reducing ambient temperature. It was previously reported that the quantity and layout of arbors and paving are very important factors for cooling. To [...] Read more.
Urban green space is considered an important part of urban ecological construction be-cause of the efficiency of green space in reducing ambient temperature. It was previously reported that the quantity and layout of arbors and paving are very important factors for cooling. To research the combination mode of the quantity and layout of arbors and paving able to effectively lower the temperature during the summer in a coastal open space environment where little architecture exists, we built a numerical model of heat transfer using ENVI–met numerical modeling simulation, for which the May Fourth Square in Qingdao was selected. The results showed that the ratio coverage of the arbor layer and pavement fragmentation were positively correlated with the cooling effect. We found that setting the passageway conformed to the sea breeze by arbors and close planting at the air outlet effectively reduced the site temperature. After optimizing the site’s greening layout, the cooling effect over the process of time decreased in the height direction. At the same time, the cooling effect increased before 15:00 and then reduced gradually in the time dimension. Compared to the original site, the total cooling efficiency reached 1.41 × 108 J, equaling electric energy of about 39.2 kW·h. This research solves the issue of the synergy between planting and pavement for cooling coastal open spaces in summer and provides a basis to formulate a promotion strategy for landscape design areas with similar geographical and climatic conditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Exploring Tourists’ Multilevel Spatial Cognition of Historical Town Based on Multi-Source Data—A Case Study of Feng Jing Ancient Town in Shanghai
Buildings 2022, 12(11), 1833; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12111833 - 01 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 788
Abstract
Conducting research on the spatial cognition of tourists in historical towns helps to balance cultural heritage protection and tourism development. However, the current tourist cognition research is not comprehensive enough in terms of data sources, time dimension, and spatial objects. This research takes [...] Read more.
Conducting research on the spatial cognition of tourists in historical towns helps to balance cultural heritage protection and tourism development. However, the current tourist cognition research is not comprehensive enough in terms of data sources, time dimension, and spatial objects. This research takes Fengjing Ancient Town in Shanghai as an example, and through multi-source data analysis explores how tourists’ perception and cognition of the attractions changes, discusses the impacts of characteristic of spatial system and elements on perception, and then establishes a spatial cognition analysis framework involving time dimension, cognitive depth, and spatial type. On-site aerial photos, Sina Weibo check-in data, tourist memory maps, and photos from tourism websites were used to classify tourists’ spatial cognition through content analysis, theme classification, and GIS spatial analysis. This research finds that tourists have formed three cognitive levels in the travel process, from “initial spatial consciousness” to “place memory” then to “imagery perception”. Meanwhile, space is the most important object of tourists’ cognition, and it is also the carrier of other intangible cultures. In terms of spatial cognition and ancient town tourism, this research finds the tourists’ spatial cognition of Fengjing Ancient Town is related to the main river and main tourist routes that represent the image characteristics of the ancient town. This research shows that clear boundaries of tourism space, richer folk activities, and more sequential tourism routes could help tourists form a more systematic spatial cognition. Based on the findings, this research also establishes an analysis and application framework of tourists’ multilevel spatial cognition to provide optimization suggestions for development of tourism. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
The Aspiration for Happy Train Journey: Commuters’ Perception of the Quality of Intercity Rail Services
CivilEng 2022, 3(4), 909-945; https://doi.org/10.3390/civileng3040052 - 21 Oct 2022
Viewed by 694
Abstract
This paper assesses the perception of intercity rail passengers on station facilities at Joydebpur Railway Station in Bangladesh. The ordinal logistic regression (OLR) tool was applied to analyze 1000 responses of rail passengers on 24 selected service and 5 demographic parameters. Critical consideration [...] Read more.
This paper assesses the perception of intercity rail passengers on station facilities at Joydebpur Railway Station in Bangladesh. The ordinal logistic regression (OLR) tool was applied to analyze 1000 responses of rail passengers on 24 selected service and 5 demographic parameters. Critical consideration from the perspective of a developing country revealed six unique factors, namely Level crossing facility, Illegal establishments, Illegal shops, Floating people, Arrival performance, and Departure performance, which have never been explored in any previous studies. The regression analysis identified that 13 service quality factors significantly affected commuters’ satisfaction level, particularly the Food and drinks, Road connectivity, Sanitation, and Waiting room facility at the station. Among the five demographic factors, age, occupation, and travel frequency significantly influenced overall passenger satisfaction (OPS). The model results have also been validated through a second survey at Kamalapur Railway Station, Bangladesh. The results suggest that policymakers should focus on the elderly, financially solvent people, and frequent travelers. Additionally, refreshment facilities, road connectivity, sanitation, and waiting room facilities should be given priority, as these will heavily impact passenger satisfaction according to this study. Subsequent attributes can then be prioritized as per the attributes ranked and according to budget considerations of the authority. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Parametric-Based Multi-Objective Optimization Workflow: Daylight and Energy Performance Study of Hospital Building in Algeria
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12652; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912652 - 05 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 665
Abstract
Daylight is an important factor that significantly contributes to patients’ healing, with a reduction in the length of stay in the hospital. It can strongly affect energy consumption negatively or positively through lighting control strategies. Therefore, the case of healthcare buildings is very [...] Read more.
Daylight is an important factor that significantly contributes to patients’ healing, with a reduction in the length of stay in the hospital. It can strongly affect energy consumption negatively or positively through lighting control strategies. Therefore, the case of healthcare buildings is very particular and sensitive, especially under extreme climate conditions as in hot and arid regions. The present study aims to determine a balance between daylight use and energy consumption through a parametric-based optimization of the external shading system in a typical hospital room in Biskra. This paper demonstrates how the implementation of parametric design with evolutionary algorithms is considered a reliable strategy to reach optimum solutions in building performance problems. The daylight performance is investigated based on multi-objective optimization to minimize the Energy Use Intensity “EUI”, while maximizing Spatial Daylight Autonomy “sDA” and Useful Daylight Illuminance “UDI”. A simulation model was developed via Grasshopper, which was employed with the use of Ladybug, Honeybee, and Octopus plug-ins. The results revealed that the adaptive facade system can improve indoor daylight levels and energy performance simultaneously compared to the conventional shading system. The presented framework may be used as a reference model, which can enhance opportunities to solve complex design problems in the early design stages and suggest recommendations for sustainable building design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
A New General Formulation for the PMV Thermal Comfort Index
Buildings 2022, 12(10), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12101572 - 30 Sep 2022
Viewed by 766
Abstract
The PMV index forms the basis of international thermal comfort standards. PMV was developed based on empirical relationships between the metabolic rate of activity and the body mean skin temperature and evaporative heat loss under the comfort conditions. However, many recent studies have [...] Read more.
The PMV index forms the basis of international thermal comfort standards. PMV was developed based on empirical relationships between the metabolic rate of activity and the body mean skin temperature and evaporative heat loss under the comfort conditions. However, many recent studies have questioned the accuracy and reliability of the PMV predictions, particularly for the discomfort range. This paper develops a general formulation of PMV that does not involve the mean skin temperature and evaporative heat loss. The new metabolic-based predicted mean vote (MPMV) index is expressed as the difference between the metabolic rate of activity and the metabolic rate required to achieve a comfort state under the imposed environment conditions. The comfort metabolic rate is found to vary linearly with the metabolic rate required to maintain the body core and mean skin temperatures at the resting thermo-neutral state. The model constants are determined using public experimental data on thermal sensation votes of young and older people. The new formulation accounts for body core cooling to achieve comfort under hot exposures; it also addresses the overlooked non-shivering thermogenesis in the body heat balance at the comfort state and covers comfort requirements for young and older people in wakeful and sleep states. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
A Study of Library Window Seat Consumption and Learning Efficiency Based on the ABC Attitude Model and the Proposal of a Library Service Optimization Strategy
Buildings 2022, 12(10), 1547; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12101547 - 27 Sep 2022
Viewed by 650
Abstract
The aim of this study is to determine the relationship between occupants’ emotional attitude, decision behavior, and environmental cognition toward window seats and learning efficiency and the mechanism of this relationship in public spaces (represented by academic libraries). Surveys were delivered to the [...] Read more.
The aim of this study is to determine the relationship between occupants’ emotional attitude, decision behavior, and environmental cognition toward window seats and learning efficiency and the mechanism of this relationship in public spaces (represented by academic libraries). Surveys were delivered to the academic library of Shanghai Jiao Tong University. A total of 280 valid face-to-face interview questionnaires was collected and analyzed for correlation and validation of theoretical models. The results show that learning experience, as a mediator of learning efficiency, has a significant impact on the model of occupants’ attitude toward window seat consumption. The impact mechanism was determined, and it indicated that in order to improve the learning efficiency of occupants, indoor re-planning should be carried out to improve the seat satisfaction and occupancy rate. This study introduces the concepts of service design and architectural consumption and constructs an occupant emotional consumption context with the window seat as the consumption product. In addition, it also has guiding value for seat reallocation in public buildings in the COVID-19 era. This theoretical framework provides a direction for the simulation of future construction consumption behavior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Thermal Comfort in the Overhead Public Space in Hot and Humid Climates: A Study in Shenzhen
Buildings 2022, 12(9), 1454; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12091454 - 15 Sep 2022
Viewed by 753
Abstract
In recent years, semi-outdoor space has become an important research subject in the field of thermal comfort. Overhead space located on the ground floor is a common type of semi-outdoor space in China’s Lingnan region with a hot and humid climate. Its thermal [...] Read more.
In recent years, semi-outdoor space has become an important research subject in the field of thermal comfort. Overhead space located on the ground floor is a common type of semi-outdoor space in China’s Lingnan region with a hot and humid climate. Its thermal comfort has been scarcely studied. This study aims to reveal the importance and influencing factors of overhead public spaces in hot and humid areas, and to explore the corresponding adaptive behaviors of people. In this research, several overhead public spaces in Shenzhen University were selected to conduct field measurements and questionnaire surveys (n = 509) in hot and cold seasons. The results indicated that the acceptable physiologically equivalent temperature (PET) range for 90% of the population was 26.2–30.4 °C in hot season, 9.9–19.2 °C in cold season, and 17.6–25.3 °C for the whole year. The respondents preferred “neutral” in cold season and “slightly cool” in hot season. Respondents in hot season were more eager to adjust their thermal comfort, while those in cold season were more comfortable exposing themselves to the sun. Concurrently, the neutral temperature and neutral temperature range for different seasons was obtained and compared with the results of other studies. The results provide references for thermal comfort adjustment in hot and humid areas as well as optimization suggestions for the planning and design of overhead spaces. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Experimental Study on the Modular Vertical Greening Shading in Summer
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811648 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 615
Abstract
Previous studies have shown that vertical greening has a significant cooling and energy-saving effect, most of which are applied to opaque walls. However, windows are the critical factor contributing to the indoor thermal environment. This study developed a modular vertical greening shading device [...] Read more.
Previous studies have shown that vertical greening has a significant cooling and energy-saving effect, most of which are applied to opaque walls. However, windows are the critical factor contributing to the indoor thermal environment. This study developed a modular vertical greening shading device (MVGSD), and introduces its detailed structure: water supply mode, plant selection, and substrate preparation. To investigate the thermal performance of MVGSD, a structural model test was carried out. The results show that MVGSD has a noticeable effect on indoor temperature. Specifically, the greatest indoor temperature can be reduced by 4 °C and effectively low the concentration of CO2 (The CO2 absorption rate is 53.1%). In addition, the characteristics of the louver shading and MVGSD were compared, and it was found that the indoor temperature by using MVGSD is 2.6 °C lower than the louver. It is also worth mentioning that indoor humidity is improved by MVGSD, which has a beneficial effect on the thermal comfort of human beings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Research on the Material and Spatial Psychological Perception of the Side Interface of an Underground Street Based on Virtual Reality
Buildings 2022, 12(9), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12091432 - 12 Sep 2022
Viewed by 621
Abstract
In the context of the rapid development of the construction of urban underground spaces in China, people’s demands for the quality of these spaces have become increasingly prominent. As an important part of underground spaces, the different materials used in underground street interfaces [...] Read more.
In the context of the rapid development of the construction of urban underground spaces in China, people’s demands for the quality of these spaces have become increasingly prominent. As an important part of underground spaces, the different materials used in underground street interfaces give rise to different spatial experiences, which are important for creating a comfortable underground space atmosphere. However, current research on the perception of underground street spaces lacks an exploration of the influence of materials, and most research on materials focuses on the interface design of above-ground commercial streets. In this study, material characteristics were extracted as independent variables, 17 scenes were orthogonalized, and the efficient simulation characteristics of VR were used to build a scene model for the experiment. Participants’ evaluations of the scenes were measured during the experiment, and conclusions were drawn through scene ranking and one-way ANOVA. The results showed that the use of white, high-finish materials with non-directional textures and low bumpiness for the side interface was more in line with the participants’ preferences. This study provides new ideas for the design of high-quality underground commercial streets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Built Environment and Outdoor Leisure Activity under the Individual Time Budgets
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11151; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811151 - 06 Sep 2022
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Previous studies highlight the role of walkable neighborhoods in improving the health status of residents, hypothesizing that there is a strong relationship between the built environment and individual physical activity. However, unlike theoretical prediction, the evidence is less established that residents in inner [...] Read more.
Previous studies highlight the role of walkable neighborhoods in improving the health status of residents, hypothesizing that there is a strong relationship between the built environment and individual physical activity. However, unlike theoretical prediction, the evidence is less established that residents in inner cities engage in more physical activity than residents in suburban areas. To address this gap between theoretical prediction and empirical evidence in physical activity studies, this paper investigates the links between the built environment and outdoor leisure activities under the individual time constraint. We conducted path analysis, employing the samples of Los Angeles County in NHTS (National Household Travel Survey, 2008–2009). Empirical results revealed that individual time constraints have a significant negative effect on leisure time spent in outdoors, but the influence was marginal. Surprisingly, the access to local resource (e.g., park area) still matters even after time constraints are controlled for. Regarding the effects of other covariates, safety (perceived), attitude, and disability showed the largest association with outdoor leisure activities amongst the independent variables with the expected sign. Based on these results, this study not only confirms that the lack of time plays a role as a barrier of the outdoor leisure activity, but also proves that park area can be considered as a facilitator. However, the behavioral decision for outdoor leisure activities is about more than time constraints and the built environment since the effects of both are much smaller than other key covariates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
The Effects of White versus Coloured Light in Waiting Rooms on People’s Emotions
Buildings 2022, 12(9), 1356; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12091356 - 01 Sep 2022
Viewed by 765
Abstract
Lighting ambience in architecture is one of the important factors affecting the emotions of people, and the study of the psychological needs of architectural lighting may provide more rational guidelines for architectural design. There are many previous studies on the emotional impact of [...] Read more.
Lighting ambience in architecture is one of the important factors affecting the emotions of people, and the study of the psychological needs of architectural lighting may provide more rational guidelines for architectural design. There are many previous studies on the emotional impact of lighting in architecture, but most of them use a dimensional model of emotion to analyse emotions, which is difficult for the reader to understand. In this study, we used the dimensional model of emotion to analyse emotions and converted it into easily understood basic emotions through the PAD model. Participants (n = 32) were divided into three groups and subjected to three scenes with different colour combinations. The analysis showed that the arousal and dominance of the participants were significantly affected from white to coloured light. No effect on comfort was observed between white and coloured light. Our study suggests that the use of coloured lighting instead of white lights in a non-clinic windowless waiting room may not improve negative mood. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Do Green Buildings Have Superior Performance over Non-Certified Buildings? Occupants’ Perceptions of Strengths and Weaknesses in Office Buildings
Buildings 2022, 12(9), 1302; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12091302 - 25 Aug 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 932
Abstract
The main objectives of green buildings are to improve their design and operation. Many studies have investigated whether green buildings lead to higher occupant satisfaction, yet with contradictory conclusions. The paper builds on the results of post-occupancy evaluation surveys of 68 buildings using [...] Read more.
The main objectives of green buildings are to improve their design and operation. Many studies have investigated whether green buildings lead to higher occupant satisfaction, yet with contradictory conclusions. The paper builds on the results of post-occupancy evaluation surveys of 68 buildings using the BUS Methodology. Satisfaction scores expressed by occupants with the qualities of their indoor environment were compared between the green and non-certified buildings. This research investigates whether green buildings have superior performance to non-certified buildings from the occupants’ perspectives. It was found that generally occupants were more satisfied in green buildings than in non-certified buildings. However, the differences were not significant for any of the environmental and operational parameters including thermal comfort, lighting, noise, and air quality. In the case of operational parameters such as design, needs, image of the building, and cleaning, the differences between the two building groups were notable. Air quality, design and work requirement had the strongest influence on perceived comfort in both green and non-certified buildings. Noise had the strongest influence on perceived productivity for both building groups. Although overall green buildings performed better than the non-certified buildings, the differences between the two were negligible particularly for environmental parameters. Most of the green buildings were not performing entirely as their designers may have intended and had weaknesses that needed to be addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Study of Human Visual Comfort Based on Sudden Vertical Illuminance Changes
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1127; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081127 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 635
Abstract
Rapid changes in vertical illuminance trigger visual fatigue. Therefore, controlling the illuminance ratio of adjacent spaces can ensure the satisfaction and comfort of users. This study takes reaction time as the measure of adaptation and explores the correlation between visual adaptation and comfort [...] Read more.
Rapid changes in vertical illuminance trigger visual fatigue. Therefore, controlling the illuminance ratio of adjacent spaces can ensure the satisfaction and comfort of users. This study takes reaction time as the measure of adaptation and explores the correlation between visual adaptation and comfort in different light environments. The Landolt C ring was selected as the visual standard for the experimental test, the degree of visual comfort was assessed using a Likert scale, and experimental parameters were formulated according to relevant criteria. By analyzing the subjective visual comfort, visual task performance and physiological evaluations of the participants under different changing illuminance levels, we have concluded that there is a significant correlation between reaction time and visual comfort, and no significant effect of gender on visual comfort. Therefore, under the condition of meeting the required value of illumination standard, the smaller the illuminance ratio of adjacent rooms, the more the comfort and visual acuity of users can be guaranteed, and visual fatigue can also be avoided. The study is a useful resource for improving comfort and pleasure in a light environment as well as for lighting design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Energy Poverty Evaluation Using a Three-Dimensional and Territorial Indicator: A Case Study in Chile
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081125 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 825
Abstract
Energy poverty (EP) is a problem that affects a large part of the world population, leaving those most vulnerable to suffer from unhealthy indoor conditions in their homes, being cold in winter months, struggling with their monetary situation, and even reducing social activities [...] Read more.
Energy poverty (EP) is a problem that affects a large part of the world population, leaving those most vulnerable to suffer from unhealthy indoor conditions in their homes, being cold in winter months, struggling with their monetary situation, and even reducing social activities with relatives. In this context, it is important to assess EP situations and identify those factors that most affect each one. This paper, through the evaluation and adaptation of the Three-dimensional and Territorial Indicator of Energy Poverty (EPITT in Spanish), developed by the Energy Poverty Network in Chile (RedPE Chile), assesses the different EP situations in a social-housing case study located in south-central Chile. The results show different EP situations depending on the dimensions studied, e.g., 35% of households had food and hygiene issues, 27% had issues with lighting and electrical devices, 72% with climate control in the home, and 68% experienced equality in energy expenditure issues. It is possible to say that energy expenditure is the dimension that most influences the EP situation. Furthermore, the values in the different dimensions are below the national average, mainly because of the poor quality of housing, limitations in access to energy, and low income. In conclusion, the adaptation of EPTTI provides a better understanding of EP vulnerability at the local scale. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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Article
Comparative Analysis of the Effect of the Evolution of Energy Saving Regulations on the Indoor Summer Comfort of Five Homes on the Coast of the Basque Country
Buildings 2022, 12(7), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12071047 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1006
Abstract
In the last decade, several European directives have been established to contribute to the 2020, 2030 and 2050 energy saving targets and impose energy efficiency requirements for new construction, existing buildings and building renovation operations. One of the ways to achieve said objectives [...] Read more.
In the last decade, several European directives have been established to contribute to the 2020, 2030 and 2050 energy saving targets and impose energy efficiency requirements for new construction, existing buildings and building renovation operations. One of the ways to achieve said objectives is to rely on the most demanding energy efficiency labels existing in Europe, such as Passivhaus, and to implement similar concepts into the national energy regulations of European countries based on a high-performance thermal envelope (high insulation and high-performance windows), high airtightness and high-performance heat-recovery ventilation systems, and solar heat harvesting. This energy conservation concept has shown to be effective for houses with low-density occupation in cold climates, but may cause severe overheating problems in denser collective housing in temperate and hot climates with higher solar radiation. To assess this impact, five flats in three developments from different periods that range from no insulation at all to a nZEB, Passivhaus-certified high-rise are compared in this paper, using data from a monitoring campaign during the summer of 2020. The results show and quantify the strong impact the evolution of the energy saving regulatory trend has had on summer indoor comfort, which may in some cases lead to previously unnecessary air conditioning for cooling and, ultimately, be counterproductive towards the end goals of reducing energy consumption and greenhouse-effect gas emissions and mitigating climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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