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Developing a holistic set of parameters to evaluate and monitor indoor environmental quality

Keeling, T. (2017) Developing a holistic set of parameters to evaluate and monitor indoor environmental quality. EngD thesis, University of Reading

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Abstract/Summary

This thesis uses four studies to outline a series of problems that should be overcome to improve the specification of sensor systems to monitor, measure and evaluate people’s experience of the indoor environment. These are also relevant to the use of parameters to define building performance in design as part of parametric design. These problems are: • It is not simple or straightforward to reduce even simple environmental stimuli to single parameters that are representative of occupant experience: o During the post occupancy evaluation that we carried out we uncovered emergent factors that are important for understanding overall building performance; these factors cannot be linked to component indoor environmental quality (IEQ) factors. The factors include the values that occupants associate with their building and the dynamics of group control. o In another of our studies we contrast the experience of sound, which is more complex and requires a greater degree of information processing, to that of air temperature, which is simpler and can be modelled according to energetic principles. It is harder to parameterise the former. • Physiological sensors can be used to identify salient environmental experiences. This might, in the future, help to characterise complex environments. However, it would reveal little about the underlying thought processes (i.e. why the experience was occurring). • An alternative way to characterise complex experiences (such as privacy or soundscapes) is to categorise, grade and combine elements of the physical environment. This remains problematic for sensor systems. • Appraisals can be used to understand the thought process that underpins experience of the environment. However, they require that user feedback is incorporated into future sensor systems. Appraisals offer a compact method (as few as five questions) for unlocking some underlying thought processes and they could be used to identify where problems have a psychological as well as physical dimensions.

Item Type:Thesis (EngD)
Thesis Supervisor:Clements-Croome, D., Roesch, E., Luck, R., Pointer, P. and Keelin, A.
Thesis/Report Department:School of Construction Management and Engineering
Identification Number/DOI:
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering
ID Code:74318
Date on Title Page:2016

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