Topic Editors

Division of Sustainable Buildings, Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Brinellvägen 23, 100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Faculty of Science and Technology, University of Coimbra, Coimbra, Portugal
Department of Architecture, School of Design, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China

Built Environment and Human Comfort

Abstract submission deadline
closed (20 March 2023)
Manuscript submission deadline
closed (20 May 2023)
Viewed by
81119

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
2.1 4.0 2019 16.3 Days CHF 1600
Buildings
buildings
3.8 3.1 2011 14.6 Days CHF 2600
CivilEng
civileng
- 2.0 2020 37.7 Days CHF 1200
Climate
climate
3.7 5.2 2013 19.7 Days CHF 1800
Energies
energies
3.2 5.5 2008 16.1 Days CHF 2600
Environments
environments
3.7 5.9 2014 23.7 Days CHF 1800
International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
ijerph
- 5.4 2004 29.6 Days CHF 2500
Sustainability
sustainability
3.9 5.8 2009 18.8 Days CHF 2400

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Published Papers (43 papers)

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25 pages, 7224 KiB  
Article
Impact of the Saudi Building Code on Residential Construction Costs
by Fahad Saud Allahaim, Ahmed M. El shenawy and Ghasan Alfalah
Buildings 2024, 14(1), 233; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14010233 - 15 Jan 2024
Viewed by 1225
Abstract
The government of Saudi has implemented the Saudi Building Code (SBC) for residential buildings to set standards for their design, construction, and maintenance. However, this may result in unexpected costs that are passed on to the citizens and thus have a certain economic [...] Read more.
The government of Saudi has implemented the Saudi Building Code (SBC) for residential buildings to set standards for their design, construction, and maintenance. However, this may result in unexpected costs that are passed on to the citizens and thus have a certain economic impact. Therefore, this study examined the additional costs imposed on citizens and the economic impact of implementing the SBC on residential buildings. This study surveyed building developers, architects, and citizens to gather data on the costs associated with adhering to the code such as material and labor costs. This study found that the additional costs imposed on citizens and the economic impact of implementing the SBC in residential buildings were relatively small. The potential long-term benefits of the SBC such as energy efficiency savings and reduced environmental impact outweigh the short-term costs. The case that applied the SBC had operating costs that were almost 44% lower. Energy efficiency was increased by the SBC’s contribution to reducing heat transfer through building components and external elements. In order to minimize heat absorption and electricity usage, thermal insulation, double and heat-reflecting glass, and light exterior colors are all recommended. The findings of this research provide valuable insights for policymakers and stakeholders in the construction industry because they consider the implementation and enforcement of building codes in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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16 pages, 2437 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Resettlement on Quality of Life in Ghana: The Mediating Role of Residential Satisfaction
by Emmanuel Bosompem Boadi, Shaojun Chen, Guoqing Shi, Yi Li, Regina Naa Amua Dodoo, Francis Mensah, Isaie Steven Martin Dieme, Ruth Appiah and Tinashe Mangudhla
Buildings 2023, 13(9), 2288; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13092288 - 08 Sep 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 812
Abstract
The effects of large-scale land acquisitions for development projects such as mining, urbanization and dams are widely contested in the literature. Prior research has focused on the difficulties that resettlement poses for the affected families in terms of their capacity to meet the [...] Read more.
The effects of large-scale land acquisitions for development projects such as mining, urbanization and dams are widely contested in the literature. Prior research has focused on the difficulties that resettlement poses for the affected families in terms of their capacity to meet the demands of the new community. This study suggests that resettlement (built environment) quality may act as a predictor and influence the residential satisfaction and quality of life of project-affected families. This study investigates how residential satisfaction influences the relationship between the quality of the dwelling, the context of resettlement homes, and the quality of life of mining-affected families in Ghana. A sample of 256 household heads displaced by a large-scale mining project in Ellembelle was used to evaluate the suggested model. The findings indicate that resettlement quality greatly enhances the quality of life of the mining-affected families. The findings also revealed that residential satisfaction was a significant mediator of the quality of dwellings and the context of the resettlement, in addition to being a strong predictor of quality of life. Indirectly, resident characteristics, such as socioeconomic and demographic conditions, influenced how people felt about their homes and quality of life. These results indicate that residential satisfaction and resettlement quality are accurate indicators of the mining-affected families’ quality of life. Integrating these features make it possible to quantify the mining-affected families’ quality of life for future research and public policy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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21 pages, 21096 KiB  
Article
Post-Occupancy Evaluation in Post-Disaster Social Housing in a Hot-Humid Climate Zone in Mexico
by Yarely Aguilar-Perez, Lucelia Rodrigues, Paolo Beccarelli and Renata Tubelo
Sustainability 2023, 15(18), 13443; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151813443 - 07 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 903
Abstract
In Mexico, the national fund for disasters (FONDEN) spent up to USD 800 million yearly building low-income housing for victims of highly destructive disasters. Since 2002, a total of 34 thousand new houses have been built as a response to Hurricane Isidore. However, [...] Read more.
In Mexico, the national fund for disasters (FONDEN) spent up to USD 800 million yearly building low-income housing for victims of highly destructive disasters. Since 2002, a total of 34 thousand new houses have been built as a response to Hurricane Isidore. However, recent research suggests that most of the FONDEN houses have been either abandoned or repurposed, which questions their suitability. In this paper, the authors sought to gain insight into occupants’ perception of post-disaster social housing in Yucatan, southern Mexico, with views of understanding their use across this housing typology. The method employed in this study was a post-occupancy evaluation (POE), investigating occupants’ satisfaction levels and thermal comfort in the homes. This was conducted through questionnaires, observation through photographic documentation, and environmental monitoring. Results revealed that 52% of occupants reported extreme dissatisfaction during warm seasons and 28% experienced dissatisfaction during cold seasons. The most used electrical appliance (84%) was found to be fans for increasing air movement. This was consistent with the results of the environmental monitoring, which demonstrated that there was thermal discomfort 67% of the time in September and 19% in December. This accounts for a warm-humid period and cool period, respectively. The results suggested that thermal discomfort may contribute to the abandonment and repurposing of these houses. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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16 pages, 691 KiB  
Article
Online Equipment Repair Community in Russia: Searching for Environmental Discourse
by Olga Zakharova, Anna Glazkova and Lyudmila Suvorova
Sustainability 2023, 15(17), 12990; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151712990 - 29 Aug 2023
Viewed by 683
Abstract
Repair is recognized as an important part of the circular economy and leads to fewer resources being used, less waste, and less emissions generation. The crucial condition for scaling repairs is people’s perception of repairs as a significant social practice harmonizing the relationship [...] Read more.
Repair is recognized as an important part of the circular economy and leads to fewer resources being used, less waste, and less emissions generation. The crucial condition for scaling repairs is people’s perception of repairs as a significant social practice harmonizing the relationship between society and nature. This paper aims to analyze the key discourses of repair in the content of the posts of the biggest Russian online communities and to identify environmental discourse. These communities specialize in the repair of household appliances, IT, and telecommunications equipment and are organized by independent repairers. We collected all of the posts from the communities that contain textual information in the body of the post. Based on the analysis of the results of the theoretical discourses of repair, we identified four types of repair discourses: environmental, pedagogical, social, and the discourse of the right to repair. We formed lists of keywords corresponding to each discourse type and analyzed posts by computer processing. We concluded that the practice of repair is widespread in specialized online communities, but the content of these communities includes almost no mention of environmental discourse. Social and pedagogical discourses prevail. Based on our research results, we suggested some recommendations for greening and spreading repair. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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16 pages, 3751 KiB  
Article
Separation of Floodplain Flow and Bankfull Discharge: Application of 1D Momentum Equation Solver and MIKE 21C
by Shiblu Sarker
CivilEng 2023, 4(3), 933-948; https://doi.org/10.3390/civileng4030050 - 21 Aug 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 900
Abstract
A floodplain is an area of low-lying land adjacent to a river, stream, or other water body that is regularly inundated by water during periods of high flow. Floodplains typically have relatively flat terrain and are composed of sediments deposited by the river [...] Read more.
A floodplain is an area of low-lying land adjacent to a river, stream, or other water body that is regularly inundated by water during periods of high flow. Floodplains typically have relatively flat terrain and are composed of sediments deposited by the river over time. Floodplain flow refers to the movement of water across the surface of the floodplain during periods of high flow. This flow can occur as a result of water spilling over the river banks or seeping into the ground and then re-emerging on the surface of the floodplain. Bankfull discharge is the flow of water that just fills the channel of a river or stream to the top of its banks. It is the point at which the river or stream is at its maximum capacity without overflowing onto the floodplain. Bankfull discharge is often used as a reference point for assessing flood risk and planning floodplain management strategies. To examine the bank-to-bank hydro-morphodynamics of a river, it is necessary to comprehend the flow distribution throughout the main stream and floodplain. Along with river hydraulics, bankfull discharge is a crucial parameter for estimating river bank erosion. For evaluating the distribution and generation of river flow over the floodplain and main stream, a variety of modeling tools and approaches are available. This study investigates methods for separating floodplain flow and bankfull discharge from observed discharge data using the one-dimensional momentum equation. A two-dimensional modeling tool (MIKE 21C) was also employed to investigate the usefulness of the proposed method in a region with an enormous floodplain. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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17 pages, 3006 KiB  
Review
Energy Performance and Thermal Comfort Delivery Capabilities of Solid-Desiccant Rotor-Based Air-Conditioning for Warm to Hot and Humid Climates—A Critical Review
by Edward Halawa and Frank Bruno
Energies 2023, 16(16), 6032; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16166032 - 17 Aug 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 803
Abstract
There has been considerable research worldwide on desiccant-based air-conditioning during the past 30 years. The rationale for the push for this new research focus has been twofold: (a) the need to provide an alternative to conventional refrigerative air-conditioning systems which rely heavily on [...] Read more.
There has been considerable research worldwide on desiccant-based air-conditioning during the past 30 years. The rationale for the push for this new research focus has been twofold: (a) the need to provide an alternative to conventional refrigerative air-conditioning systems which rely heavily on fossil fuels as their energy sources, and (b) the need to provide better thermal comfort in air-conditioned spaces in warm to hot and humid climates. A desiccant air-conditioning system consists of several components to cool and dehumidify the air before it is supplied to a conditioned space. Earlier research work has identified the potential advantages of this technology, which include the following: (1) working fluids that do not impact on the ozone layer, (2) reduced electricity consumption, (3) improved indoor air quality, (4) simpler construction and less maintenance, and (5) integral provision of heating and cooling for cold/temperate climates. On the other hand, the authors of this paper identified the following drawbacks: (1) inevitable heating of air while being dehumidified, (2) the need for desiccant regeneration and low thermal COP paradox, (3) limited options for regeneration heat sources, (4) limited options for reliable cooling, and (5) low electrical coefficient of performance (COP). This paper presents a critical review of the energy and thermal comfort performance of solid-desiccant rotor-based air-conditioning systems, and discusses in detail their potential advantages and drawbacks. This critical review found that the drawbacks of the systems outweigh their identified advantages. The main reason for this is the inevitable heating of air while being dehumidified and counterintuitive addition of moisture to air during the evaporative cooling process. During the past 30 years of research and development efforts, no significant innovations have been discovered to resolve these crucial issues. Unless future research and development is directed to find a breakthrough, this technology will have limited commercial application. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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28 pages, 28999 KiB  
Article
Simulation Study on Outdoor Wind Environment of Residential Complexes in Hot-Summer and Cold-Winter Climate Zones Based on Entropy-Based TOPSIS Method
by Xiang Liu, Wanjiang Wang, Zixuan Wang, Junkang Song and Ke Li
Sustainability 2023, 15(16), 12480; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151612480 - 16 Aug 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 710
Abstract
Driven by a large digital simulation environment, CFD calculation software is used to simulate test results so that they can be effectively applied to engineering practice. This paper explores the suitable outdoor wind environment for residential areas in the hot summer and the [...] Read more.
Driven by a large digital simulation environment, CFD calculation software is used to simulate test results so that they can be effectively applied to engineering practice. This paper explores the suitable outdoor wind environment for residential areas in the hot summer and the cold winter. Taking Xishan Huijing in Changsha as an example, the most unfavorable wind field environment is used as the boundary condition, and the optimal design mode for this residential area is explored based on the Butterfly platform. The research in this paper is mainly divided into five steps: (1) using Rhino 7.0 to establish a 3D model; (2) using the Butterfly 0.0.05 platform to simulate the wind field and export the data at the same time, and to realize the preview through the visualization method; (3) processing the exported simulation data and the calculation of related indices; (4) applying the entropy-based TOPSIS method on the MATLAB 2020 platform to rank the preferred scheme and obtain the corresponding index weights; and (5) using a K-means cluster analysis on SPSS 26 software to optimize the scheme. The results show that (1) the wind environment quality will be overestimated in the summer if the influence of neighboring buildings on the site is not considered, while the opposite is true in the winter, with the error of both reaching two times. (2) The weights of the indicators determined by the TOPSIS entropy weighting method indicate that wind protection in the winter should be prioritized over natural ventilation in the summer in this area. The maximum wind speed in the winter has the most significant weight, reaching 0.287, and the uniformity of the wind field in the summer is the most important, reaching 0.1102. (3) In the layout design of the residential district, the staggered layout of the 60 m high slab houses in the northern, northeastern, and northwestern directions of the site creates a better wind field environment, which attains the highest score by the TOPSIS entropy weighting method, reaching 0.1539, with the second highest score, reaching 0.1511, for the layout method. The research results will provide a scientific basis for the design of residential buildings in the hot-summer and cold-winter regions in China, and also help designers to better grasp the outdoor wind environment of residential buildings in the pre-design stage. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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18 pages, 3240 KiB  
Review
Exploring Low-Carbon Design and Construction Techniques: Lessons from Vernacular Architecture
by Ming Hu
Climate 2023, 11(8), 165; https://doi.org/10.3390/cli11080165 - 31 Jul 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2628
Abstract
This paper presents a comprehensive review of low-carbon materials and construction techniques commonly used in vernacular buildings. The study highlights the relevance of vernacular architecture in the context of the shift towards sustainable construction practices. A combination of a climatic zone map, vernacular [...] Read more.
This paper presents a comprehensive review of low-carbon materials and construction techniques commonly used in vernacular buildings. The study highlights the relevance of vernacular architecture in the context of the shift towards sustainable construction practices. A combination of a climatic zone map, vernacular language type map, and continent map is used to identify the vernacular regions. Eight bio-based low-carbon materials, including wood, adobe, rammed earth, cob, sod, thatch, bamboo, and straw bales, are discussed, along with their characteristics, availability, and environmental impacts. The construction techniques associated with these materials are explained, emphasizing their simplicity, cost-effectiveness, and adaptability. The paper also explores two important design approaches: design for disassembly and design for modularity that were used in vernacular building. The review found the use of low-carbon materials and construction techniques derived from vernacular architecture can contribute to minimizing waste, reducing environmental impacts, and promoting a circular economy in the building industry. This research provides valuable insights for architects, engineers, and policymakers seeking sustainable alternatives in the construction sector. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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31 pages, 90397 KiB  
Article
Mosque Morphological Analysis: The Impact of Indoor Spatial–Volumetric Visibility on Worshipers’ Visual Comfort
by Lana Abubakr Ali and Faris Ali Mustafa
Sustainability 2023, 15(13), 10376; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151310376 - 30 Jun 2023
Viewed by 1573
Abstract
One of the essential needs of humans that is influenced by architectural geometry is visibility in indoor areas. Prayer hall geometry dominates the mosque typology and morphology. The spatial–volumetric shapes of interior prayer halls affect worshipers’ visual comfort and spirituality. In this study, [...] Read more.
One of the essential needs of humans that is influenced by architectural geometry is visibility in indoor areas. Prayer hall geometry dominates the mosque typology and morphology. The spatial–volumetric shapes of interior prayer halls affect worshipers’ visual comfort and spirituality. In this study, a new integrative framework is developed to quantitatively describe various mosque typo-morphologies affecting the visual comfort of worshipers, including spaciousness and consciousness, to obtain prayer hall typo-morphological patterns that may provide higher levels of visual comfort. Spatial and volumetric metrics from various prayer hall vantage points are used in this study. A two-dimensional isovist (VGA) map in depthmapX.10 collects spatial metrics, while the grasshopper script in Rhinoceros-7 collects 3D isovist volumetric metrics. The findings confirm the feasibility of creating a prominent area in barrier-free mosque layout designs centered on a central domed roof form. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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23 pages, 6144 KiB  
Article
Satisfaction Evaluation for Underpass Green Spaces in Mountainous Cities under the Perspective of Environmental Perception
by Junjie Zhang, Junji Liu, Hong Yang, Junping Quan, Li Wang, Qixiao He and Fanmiao Li
Buildings 2023, 13(6), 1489; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13061489 - 09 Jun 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1213
Abstract
The overpasses and the terrain under them in Chongqing, a mountainous city in China, are complex and diverse, and some spaces under the overpasses are integrated and reconstructed into the underpass green space for citizens to stroll about or have a rest. From [...] Read more.
The overpasses and the terrain under them in Chongqing, a mountainous city in China, are complex and diverse, and some spaces under the overpasses are integrated and reconstructed into the underpass green space for citizens to stroll about or have a rest. From the perspective of visitor perception, this paper constructs a perception evaluation system of the environmental characteristics of underpass green space in mountainous cities from the following five environmental perception dimensions: path organization, security, aesthetic value, physical environment, activities and cultural. The IPA-Kano model is used to quantify environmental perception, and the main environmental factors affecting the improvement of recreation satisfaction of underpass green space in three types of terrain are explored, with a view to improving the environment and service functions of underpass green spaces in high-density interchange networks in mountainous cities, and enhancing the attractiveness of underpass green spaces. It can be found from the study that: (1) Among the five environmental perception dimensions, visitors pay more attention to the physical environment quality of the underpass green space and their physical and psychological activity experience, while their demands for visual senses are relatively low. Due to the deficiency or lack of leisure facilities, sports facilities, children’s playgrounds and amusement equipment, the dimension of “activities and cultural perception” of the underpass green space has the lowest scores of all. (2) The existing sites, facilities and landscape resources of the underpass green space, different terrain types and underpass environment are the important reasons that affect the performance of environmental perception factors and their priority ranking results. (3) The improvement of security of the arrival path or sports facilities is beneficial to improve visitor satisfaction of underpass green space of three types of terrain. The number of environmental factors to be optimized of the three types of terrain are ranked as: mountainous green space > flat green space > concave green space. Among them, four environmental factors have a high priority in two kinds of underpass green space, which are the distribution and quantity of leisure facilities, the effect of noise reduction and sound insulation, the adequacy of activity venues and the distribution and quantity of sports facilities. Finally, according to the particularity of the underpass environment and the characteristics of three types of terrain, this paper puts forward some suggestions for optimizing the service function of underpass green space from five perceptual dimensions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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14 pages, 3213 KiB  
Article
Experimental Investigation on Dehumidification Using a Solid Composite Bio Desiccant Internally Cooled Using Nanofluids for Building Cooling
by Shiva Kumar, Girish Hariharan, Muhammad Fayaz and Nitesh Kumar
Buildings 2023, 13(6), 1461; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13061461 - 03 Jun 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1228
Abstract
Indoor comfort has become a major factor with advancements in science and technology. This also leads to an increase in greenhouse gases as well as energy consumption. Desiccant-coated heat exchangers are one of the common solutions to these risks and to lower energy [...] Read more.
Indoor comfort has become a major factor with advancements in science and technology. This also leads to an increase in greenhouse gases as well as energy consumption. Desiccant-coated heat exchangers are one of the common solutions to these risks and to lower energy usage. In the present work, the capability of a solid composite desiccant blend prepared from coconut shell-based activated carbon and bio char was studied. Aluminum plates have been coated with the prepared solid desiccants. Desiccant-coated heat exchangers were cooled by the cerium oxide nanofluid passing through the pipes connected along the length of the heat exchanger. Air was blown through the plates where dehumidification occurs due to the vapor pressure difference between the air and the desiccant-coated plate. The experiments were conducted by varying the air velocity, water flow rate, and nanoparticle concentration. The nanoparticle volume fraction varied from 0.05% to 0.3%. Different performance parameters such as the moisture removal rate, dehumidification efficiency, cooling capacity, and coefficient of performance (COP) were calculated. Results showed that the performance parameters were enhanced with an increase in the water flow rate as well as the air flow rate. Furthermore, it was seen that with the addition and increase in nanoparticle concentration, the moisture removal rate and dehumidification efficiency were enhanced. In comparison to no addition of nanoparticles, a 0.3% addition of nanoparticles demonstrated a maximum increase in MRR of 53% and dehumidification efficiency of 57%. A maximum reduction of 6.1% in the dehumidification area was achieved by using 0.3% nanoparticles with water. It is recommended to use nanofluids for dehumidification using solid desiccants, which can enhance the performance without having negative influence on the environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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18 pages, 7612 KiB  
Article
Assessment of Mould Risk in Low-Cost Residential Buildings in Urban Slum Districts of Surakarta City, Indonesia
by Solli Murtyas, Yuki Minami, Kusumaningdyah Nurul Handayani and Aya Hagishima
Buildings 2023, 13(5), 1333; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13051333 - 19 May 2023
Viewed by 1285
Abstract
Prolonged exposure to indoor dampness in dwellings triggers excessive mould, causing health problems for residents and damage to building structures. This study investigated dampness and mould growth in low-cost dwellings in the slum districts of Surakarta, Indonesia. A VTT mould growth model predicted [...] Read more.
Prolonged exposure to indoor dampness in dwellings triggers excessive mould, causing health problems for residents and damage to building structures. This study investigated dampness and mould growth in low-cost dwellings in the slum districts of Surakarta, Indonesia. A VTT mould growth model predicted mould risk in 17 dwellings by employing a set of time-series data of indoor air temperature and relative humidity (RH). Interviews were conducted with 11 houses to understand the residents’ perceptions and lifestyles related to mould risk. The daily average dampness (RH > 80%) ranged from 2.2 to 12.3 h. Low-cost dwellings with plywood board walls had a high risk of cumulative mould growth. Statistical correlation analysis revealed that volumetric heat capacity was significantly positively correlated with mould growth at higher percentiles (75th and 97.5th). Thus, dwellings with smaller volumes and plywood board walls were more susceptible to moulding. Moreover, the majority of the participants expressed dissatisfaction with indoor air quality owing to the presence of unpleasant odours from sewage and dampness, which coincided with their perception of inadequate air ventilation. This study provides a reference for developing standard guidelines for building and upgrading dwellings in Indonesia, focusing on assessing and mitigating mould risks and ensuring moisture safety. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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25 pages, 2410 KiB  
Article
Distinguishing Household Groupings within a Precinct Based on Energy Usage Patterns Using Machine Learning Analysis
by Troy Malatesta, Qilin Li, Jessica K. Breadsell and Christine Eon
Energies 2023, 16(10), 4119; https://doi.org/10.3390/en16104119 - 16 May 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1027
Abstract
The home can be a complex environment to understand, as well as to model and predict, due to inherent variability between people’s routines and practices. A one-size-fits-all approach does not consider people’s contextual and institutional influences that contribute to their daily routines. These [...] Read more.
The home can be a complex environment to understand, as well as to model and predict, due to inherent variability between people’s routines and practices. A one-size-fits-all approach does not consider people’s contextual and institutional influences that contribute to their daily routines. These contextual and institutional factors relate to the household structure and relationship between occupants, as well as the working lifestyle of the occupants. One household can consume resources and live quite differently compared to a similar size household with the same number of occupants due to these factors. Predictive analysis of consumption data can identify this difference to create household-specific modelling to predict occupant routines and practices. Using post-occupancy data from the Fairwater Living Laboratory in Sydney that monitored 39 homes built in a green-star community, this research has utilised machine learning approaches and a K-Means clustering method complemented by t-distributed Stochastic Neighbour Embedding (t-SNE) to show how households follow different daily routines and activities resulting in resource consumption. This analysis has identified energy usage patterns and household groupings with each group following similar daily routines and consumption. The comparison between modelling the precinct as a whole and modelling households individually shows how detail can be lost when aggregating household data at a precinct/community level. This detail can explain why policies or technologies are not as effective as their design due to ignoring the delicate aspects of household routines and practices. These household groupings can provide insight for policymakers to help them understand the different profiles that may be present in the community. These findings are useful for net-zero developments and decarbonization of the built environment through modelling occupant behaviour accurately and developing policies and technologies to suit. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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15 pages, 6887 KiB  
Article
Assessment of the Type of Paint on Performance of Rendering Mortars
by Luis G. Baltazar and Antonio Morais
CivilEng 2023, 4(2), 454-468; https://doi.org/10.3390/civileng4020026 - 24 Apr 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1405
Abstract
The aim of this work is to determine how the mechanical and physical properties of render mortars, in particular their moisture performance, are affected by the application of paint. In this study, three commercial paints, hydro-pliolite-based paint, acrylic paint and silicate paint, were [...] Read more.
The aim of this work is to determine how the mechanical and physical properties of render mortars, in particular their moisture performance, are affected by the application of paint. In this study, three commercial paints, hydro-pliolite-based paint, acrylic paint and silicate paint, were applied as coating layers on render mortars formulated with different binders. The choice of the binders used (hydrated lime, natural hydraulic lime and cement) was related to the functional requirements that the renders have to fulfil according to the type of buildings where they are applied (i.e., new or old buildings). Firstly, the hardness and surface cohesion of the different painted and unpainted renders were analysed in order to investigate the effect of the type of paint on the mechanical strength of the render surface. The influence of the paints on the moisture behaviour of the renders was then investigated using the water capillarity test, the water vapour permeability test and the drying test. The results show that all the paints studied can cause a significant change in the behaviour of the renders in terms of moisture transport phenomena. Nevertheless, it can be concluded that acrylic paint has the greatest resistance to water absorption, but it is also the paint with the higher resistance to water vapour diffusion. Hydro pliolite paint was found to be adequate from the point of view of reducing moisture accumulation and is the most recommended for old buildings with hydrated lime or hydraulic lime-based renders. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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12 pages, 3004 KiB  
Review
Meta-Analysis of the Effect of Ventilation on Intellectual Productivity
by Hayata Kuramochi, Ryuta Tsurumi and Yoshiki Ishibashi
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(8), 5576; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20085576 - 19 Apr 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1348
Abstract
Indoor air quality (IAQ) influences the health and intellectual productivity of occupants. This paper summarizes studies investigating the relationship between intellectual productivity and IAQ with varying ventilation rates. We conducted a meta-analysis of five studies, with a total of 3679 participants, and performed [...] Read more.
Indoor air quality (IAQ) influences the health and intellectual productivity of occupants. This paper summarizes studies investigating the relationship between intellectual productivity and IAQ with varying ventilation rates. We conducted a meta-analysis of five studies, with a total of 3679 participants, and performed subgroup analyses (arithmetic, verbal comprehension, and cognitive ability) based on the type of academic performance. The task performance speed and error rate were evaluated to measure intellectual productivity. The effect size of each study was evaluated using the standardized mean difference (SMD). In addition, we calculated a dose-response relationship between ventilation rate and intellectual productivity. The results show that the task performance speed improved, SMD: 0.18 (95% CI: 0.10–0.26), and the error rate decreased, SMD: −0.05 (95% CI: −0.11–0.00), with an increase in ventilation rate. Converting the intervention effect size on the SMD into the natural units of the outcome measure, our analyses show significant improvements in the task performance speed: 13.7% (95% CI: 6.2–20.5%) and 3.5% (95% CI: 0.9–6.1%) in terms of arithmetic tasks and cognitive ability, respectively. The error rate decreased by −16.1% (95% CI: −30.8–0%) in arithmetic tasks. These results suggest that adequate ventilation is necessary for good performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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23 pages, 1965 KiB  
Article
Spatial Correlation Network Structure of Carbon Emission Efficiency in China’s Construction Industry and Its Formation Mechanism
by Haidong Gao, Tiantian Li, Jing Yu, Yangrui Sun and Shijie Xie
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 5108; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15065108 - 14 Mar 2023
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1323
Abstract
In the context of “carbon peak, carbon neutrality”, it is important to explore the spatial correlation network of carbon emission efficiency in the construction industry and its formation mechanism to promote regional synergistic carbon emission reduction. This paper analyzes the spatial correlation network [...] Read more.
In the context of “carbon peak, carbon neutrality”, it is important to explore the spatial correlation network of carbon emission efficiency in the construction industry and its formation mechanism to promote regional synergistic carbon emission reduction. This paper analyzes the spatial correlation network of carbon emission efficiency in China’s construction industry and its formation mechanism through the use of the global super-efficiency EBM model, social network analysis, and QAP model. The results show that (1) the national construction industry’s overall carbon emission efficiency is steadily increasing, with a spatial distribution pattern of “high in the east and low in the west”. (2) The spatial correlation network shows a “core edge” pattern. Provinces such as Jiangsu, Zhejiang, Shanghai, Tianjin, and Shandong are at the center of the network of carbon emission efficiency in the construction industry, playing the role of “intermediary” and “bridge”. At the same time, the spatial correlation network is divided into four plates: “bidirectional spillover plate”, “main inflow plate”, “main outflow plate”, and “agent plate”. (3) Geographical proximity, regional economic differences, and urbanization differences have significant positive effects on the formation of a spatial correlation network. At the same time, the industrial agglomeration gap has a significant negative impact on the formation of such a network, while energy-saving technology level and labor productivity differences do not show any significant effect. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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38 pages, 19393 KiB  
Article
Carbon Dioxide Concentration Levels and Thermal Comfort in Primary School Classrooms: What Pupils and Teachers Do
by Maria Gabriela Zapata-Lancaster, Miltiadis Ionas, Oluyemi Toyinbo and Thomas Aneurin Smith
Sustainability 2023, 15(6), 4803; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15064803 - 08 Mar 2023
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1713
Abstract
The current climate emergency concerns and the COVID-19 pandemic demand urgent action to maintain healthy indoor environments in energy efficient ways. Promoting good indoor environments, in particular, increasing ventilation levels, has been a prominent strategy to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission indoors. [...] Read more.
The current climate emergency concerns and the COVID-19 pandemic demand urgent action to maintain healthy indoor environments in energy efficient ways. Promoting good indoor environments, in particular, increasing ventilation levels, has been a prominent strategy to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 transmission indoors. However, this strategy could be detrimental to thermal comfort, particularly during the heating season in buildings located in temperate climate zones. This paper presents research conducted in two primary schools in South Wales (UK) where the temperature, relative humidity and the carbon dioxide (CO2) concentration levels were monitored. The study monitored six classrooms and two communal spaces in the two schools during the academic year 2021/2022, the first academic year back to teaching and learning in school buildings after home-schooling and educational disruptions due to COVID-19 lockdowns. The study investigated the actions taken by teachers and pupils to balance the thermal comfort needs while minimising CO2 concentration levels. We conducted user studies to explore the comfort perceptions by pupils and teachers in relation to the thermal conditions and the freshness of air in the monitored classrooms. The paper identifies opportunities where end-users, teachers and pupils engaged with the management of the indoor environmental conditions and adopted actions to balance the requirement of reducing CO2 concentration levels while promoting thermal comfort. This research offers lessons and insights related to end-users’ agency and their understanding of indoor environments and thermal experience in schools. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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23 pages, 12470 KiB  
Essay
Indoor Environmental Comfort Assessment of Traditional Folk Houses: A Case Study in Southern Anhui, China
by Chao Pan, Yunfa Wu, Sarula Chen and Yang Yang
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2023, 20(4), 3024; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph20043024 - 09 Feb 2023
Viewed by 1697
Abstract
Due to the unique geographical location and historical culture, the traditional houses in the southern region of Anhui Province, China (South Anhui) have different indoor environments. In summer and winter, this study adopted a field survey, questionnaire survey, and statistical analysis to carry [...] Read more.
Due to the unique geographical location and historical culture, the traditional houses in the southern region of Anhui Province, China (South Anhui) have different indoor environments. In summer and winter, this study adopted a field survey, questionnaire survey, and statistical analysis to carry out a comprehensive field survey on Xixinan Village in South Anhui, and selected a typical traditional residence in the village to evaluate its indoor environment status. The final results show that the overall indoor environment of the traditional houses in South Anhui was awful, including the indoor thermal environment, with high temperature and humidity in summer and cold and humidity in winter. Additionally, the indoor light environment with dim light still had much room for improvement, while the indoor air quality and sound environment were relatively excellent. In addition, this study determined that the neutral temperatures of residents are 15.5 °C and 28.7 °C in winter and summer, respectively, and the comfort range of indoor light intensity is 752.6–1252.5 lx, which determines the adjustment range of indoor environmental parameters for residents’ comfort needs. This paper’s research methods and results provide a reference for the study of residential indoor environments in other regions with similar climatic conditions as South Anhui, and a theoretical basis for architects and engineers to enhance the indoor environment of traditional houses in this region. Full article
(This article belongs to the Topic Built Environment and Human Comfort)
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14 pages, 2398 KiB  
Article
Combined Annoyance Assessment of Ship Structural Vibration and Ambient Noise
by Hongmin Liu, Xincheng Lin, Zhihao Gong and Jieyuan Shi
Buildings 2023, 13(2), 363; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13020363 - 28 Jan 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1114
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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28 pages, 8019 KiB  
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
by Rana Elnaklah, Yara Ayyad, Saba Alnusairat, Husam AlWaer and Abdulsalam AlShboul
Sustainability 2023, 15(2), 1142; https://doi.org/10.3390/su15021142 - 07 Jan 2023
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2206
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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16 pages, 1105 KiB  
Article
Subjective Impression of an Office with Biophilic Design and Blue Lighting: A Pilot Study
by Jiarong Xie, Azadeh Omidfar Sawyer, Siqing Ge and Tian Li
Buildings 2023, 13(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13010042 - 24 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2452
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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23 pages, 4168 KiB  
Review
Transformation of Children’s Paintings into Public Art to Improve Public Spaces and Enhance People’s Happiness
by Na Luo, Rahinah Ibrahim and Sazrinee Zainal Abidin
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(24), 16780; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192416780 - 14 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2625
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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16 pages, 2760 KiB  
Article
The Impact of Evaluated Daylight to the Total Light Ratio on the Comfort Level in Office Buildings
by Maryam Fakhari, Rima Fayaz and Roberto Lollini
Buildings 2022, 12(12), 2161; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12122161 - 07 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1894
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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26 pages, 15335 KiB  
Article
Towards Improving Rural Living Environment for Chinese Cold Region Based on Investigation of Thermal Environment and Space Usage Status
by Tao Zhang, Yuechen Duan, Zhuangqing Jiao, Xin Ye, Qinian Hu, Hiroatsu Fukuda and Weijun Gao
Buildings 2022, 12(12), 2139; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12122139 - 05 Dec 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1648
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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17 pages, 5661 KiB  
Review
Anthropo-Mechanical Cradles: A Multidisciplinary Review
by Maciej Sydor, Jessica Pop, Anna Jasińska and Marek Zabłocki
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(23), 15759; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192315759 - 26 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2216
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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19 pages, 7422 KiB  
Article
Analysis of the Influence of the Gas Infrared Heater and Equipment Element Relative Positions on Industrial Premises Thermal Conditions
by Boris Vladimirovich Borisov, Alexander Vitalievich Vyatkin, Geniy Vladimirovich Kuznetsov, Vyacheslav Ivanovich Maksimov and Tatiana Aleksandrovna Nagornova
Energies 2022, 15(22), 8749; https://doi.org/10.3390/en15228749 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1388
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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17 pages, 5109 KiB  
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)
by Agata Gawlak and Marta Stankiewicz
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(22), 15388; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph192215388 - 21 Nov 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1480
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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19 pages, 22864 KiB  
Article
Comfort Assessment and Optimization Based on FE Simulation for High-Speed Train Seats: Comparison with Different Design Parameters
by Shufang Huang, Dayan Sun, Liang Zhang, Jiahao Zhou and Zhihui Wang
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 15185; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142215185 - 16 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1580
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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18 pages, 5191 KiB  
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
by Ying Zhang, Xijun Hu, Xilun Cao and Zheng Liu
Sustainability 2022, 14(22), 15126; https://doi.org/10.3390/su142215126 - 15 Nov 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1244
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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21 pages, 5997 KiB  
Article
Exploring Tourists’ Multilevel Spatial Cognition of Historical Town Based on Multi-Source Data—A Case Study of Feng Jing Ancient Town in Shanghai
by Ling Wang, Jiahui Ding, Mingze Chen, Yuan Sun, Xueyun Tang and Mengting Ge
Buildings 2022, 12(11), 1833; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12111833 - 01 Nov 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2180
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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37 pages, 2371 KiB  
Article
The Aspiration for Happy Train Journey: Commuters’ Perception of the Quality of Intercity Rail Services
by Md Rakibul Islam, Md Tawkir Ahmed, Nafis Anwari, Md Hadiuzzaman and Shohel Amin
CivilEng 2022, 3(4), 909-945; https://doi.org/10.3390/civileng3040052 - 21 Oct 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2744
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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20 pages, 8746 KiB  
Article
Parametric-Based Multi-Objective Optimization Workflow: Daylight and Energy Performance Study of Hospital Building in Algeria
by Soumaya Besbas, Francesco Nocera, Noureddine Zemmouri, Mohamed Amine Khadraoui and Asma Besbas
Sustainability 2022, 14(19), 12652; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141912652 - 05 Oct 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2284
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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24 pages, 5466 KiB  
Article
A New General Formulation for the PMV Thermal Comfort Index
by Abdelaziz Laouadi
Buildings 2022, 12(10), 1572; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12101572 - 30 Sep 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3748
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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17 pages, 1106 KiB  
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
by Yige Fan, Wen Yuan, Fanqiang Kong and Jiao Xue
Buildings 2022, 12(10), 1547; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12101547 - 27 Sep 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2018
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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25 pages, 5532 KiB  
Article
Thermal Comfort in the Overhead Public Space in Hot and Humid Climates: A Study in Shenzhen
by Xiaohuan Xie, Haitao Liao, Ruobing Wang and Zhonghua Gou
Buildings 2022, 12(9), 1454; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12091454 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2128
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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15 pages, 5515 KiB  
Article
Experimental Study on the Modular Vertical Greening Shading in Summer
by Shenglin Bao, Simin Zou, Mingqiao Zhao, Qiuyu Chen and Baofeng Li
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2022, 19(18), 11648; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph191811648 - 15 Sep 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1632
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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19 pages, 14544 KiB  
Article
Research on the Material and Spatial Psychological Perception of the Side Interface of an Underground Street Based on Virtual Reality
by Liang Sun, Shanmin Ding, Yanbing Ren, Ming Li and Bo Wang
Buildings 2022, 12(9), 1432; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12091432 - 12 Sep 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1566
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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14 pages, 1008 KiB  
Article
Built Environment and Outdoor Leisure Activity under the Individual Time Budgets
by Yongjin Ahn and Jongho Won
Sustainability 2022, 14(18), 11151; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141811151 - 06 Sep 2022
Viewed by 1568
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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16 pages, 4287 KiB  
Article
The Effects of White versus Coloured Light in Waiting Rooms on People’s Emotions
by Zhihui Zhang, Josep Maria Fort Mir and Lluis Gimenez Mateu
Buildings 2022, 12(9), 1356; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12091356 - 01 Sep 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3124
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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19 pages, 2081 KiB  
Article
Do Green Buildings Have Superior Performance over Non-Certified Buildings? Occupants’ Perceptions of Strengths and Weaknesses in Office Buildings
by Maryam Khoshbakht, Eziaku Rasheed and George Baird
Buildings 2022, 12(9), 1302; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12091302 - 25 Aug 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 2677
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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16 pages, 6054 KiB  
Article
Study of Human Visual Comfort Based on Sudden Vertical Illuminance Changes
by Jiuhong Zhang, Kunjie Lv, Xiaoqian Zhang, Mingxiao Ma and Jiahui Zhang
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1127; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081127 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1965
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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28 pages, 6666 KiB  
Article
Energy Poverty Evaluation Using a Three-Dimensional and Territorial Indicator: A Case Study in Chile
by Alexis Pérez-Fargallo, Matías Leyton-Vergara, Paulina Wegertseder and Raúl Castaño-Rosa
Buildings 2022, 12(8), 1125; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12081125 - 29 Jul 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1928
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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34 pages, 16678 KiB  
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
by Jorge Otaegi, Rufino J. Hernández, Xabat Oregi, Alexander Martín-Garín and Iñigo Rodríguez-Vidal
Buildings 2022, 12(7), 1047; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings12071047 - 19 Jul 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2804
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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