The focus of the Chair indoor environment is people and their health and comfort, influenced by buildings and environmental factors, indoors and outdoors. Key is the assessment and control of the effect of the combination of environmental parameters (thermal, acoustical lighting and air quality) on people and the built environment, in order to turn the negative effect around into a positive experience.
People spend 80-90% of their time indoors. Diseases and disorders related to indoor exposure have increased. In order to be able to understand and improve the indoor environment better, we need to acknowledge the fact that the indoor environment is more than the sum of its parts, and that its assessment has to start from human beings rather than benchmarks (of single-dose relationships).
There is need for an integrated research & educational programme on understanding the indoor environment.
Four themes and related questions to be answered have been defined to contribute to the understanding of the indoor environment. In each several projects and PhDs are running.
- Assessment – indicators: Which parameters or indicators and assessment methods can be used to explain the effects or responses? What type of information? How to assess?
- Analysis – patterns & profiles: Is it possible to define a risk/opportunity model for health and comfort in the indoor environment for different scenarios?
- a. Practical implementation – building level: Which tools/processes do we need to create a healthy and comfortable indoor environment, preferable optimised with other values (e.g. sustainability, affordability), and can be implemented efficiently?
b. Practical implementation – product level: Which products/components do we need to create a healthy and comfortable indoor environment, preferable optimised with other values (e.g. sustainability, affordability), and can be implemented efficiently?
Education activities are foremost focused on creating awareness of the effects of different indoor environment conditions on people’s health and comfort, and simple means to improve one’s own environment, based on the SenseLab and on books:
- The Indoor environment handbook: How to make buildings healthy and comfortable.
- The Healthy indoor environment: How to assess occupants’ wellbeing in buildings.
- All you need to know about indoor air – A simple guide for educating yourself to improve your indoor environment.