Human Physiology 1
Human Physiology 2
Human Physiology 3
Human Physiology 5
Fundamentals of Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ)
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IEQ is defined as: a perceived indoor
experience about the building indoor environment that
includes aspects of design, analysis, and operation of
energy efficient, healthy, and comfortable buildings.
Fields of specialization include architecture, HVAC design,
indoor air quality (IAQ), lighting, acoustics, and
control systems. Note that air quality is not and should not
be used as proxy for IEQ, it is only one of
six concerns and a flaw in any one or more will be
perceived as a flaw by the occupants.
This section on thermal comfort is based on the work of:
David Scheatzle, Ph.D., Arizona State University,
Andrew Marsh, Ph.D., Welsh School of Architecture
and Square One Research,
Fanger, Ph.D. with
Bjarne Olesen, Ph.D., both of the Danish Technical
University, Fred Rohles Jr., Ph.D., Kansas State University,
Gary Settles, Ph.D. of Penn State University and Dwayne Suter, Ph.D., (Ret.)Texas A&M. We are grateful for their contributions to
building science and human comfort.
(Please see our list of additional resources, references and contributors)
It is our hope that
these next pages will find their way into every
architect, interior and mechanical designers hands and
to every consumer, trades person and distributor of HVAC
equipment; please understand that Architecture and HVAC
is not about conditioning buildings, its about conditioning people.
Note : These pages
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Section 2: What is
comfort is one of six key metrics within
indoor environmental quality and is defined by building scientists and
healthcare professionals as, "that condition of mind
that expresses satisfaction with the thermal
(see Indoor Air Quality)
In other words,
is not a piece of equipment
like a furnace or air conditioner as manufacturers would
have you believe, and it is not something we create for
the sake of an inanimate building.
If you follow along
with this reasoning, then would you agree that for us humans to really
understand comfort we should have (paraphrasing
Jonas Salk) some rudimentary
understanding of how our mind gets information from our
architectural settings? If this makes sense to you, then it probably
make sense that we should try to understand how our
environments influence our bodies. Agree?
I think we can
also agree with this excerpt from ANSI/ASHRAE Standard
55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy
which states, "there are large variations, both
physiologically and psychologically, from person to
person, it is difficult to satisfy everyone in a space.
The environmental conditions required for comfort are
not the same for everyone."
In fact, we know most folks only voice a negative
observation when they experience discomfort as opposed
to expressing satisfaction when they are in the absence
of discomfort ('..caused
by an unwanted cooling (or heating) of the whole or one
particular part of the body.').
So the objective in architectural and mechanical design
is to create an environment acceptable by a certain
percentage of the occupants.
To accomplish this we
must study human physiology.
Indoor Air Quality
Design for Aging
Thermal Comfort Surveys
Learn why indoor air quality is treated separately from indoor comfort quality.
"...design is about meeting real human needs and not just
creating attractive or dramatic surroundings."
Anita Baltimore, FASID
Cortical, thalamic, and hypothalamic responses to
cooling and warming the skin in awake humans
Egan, Johnson, Farrell et al
Research on the Origins of Thermal Comfort
Orosa, J.A., European Journal of
Scientific Research, Vol.34 No.4 (2009), pp.561-567
Designing for comfort requires integrated
knowledge of architecture, interior design, mechanical systems
and human physiology...most building and HVAC contractors don't learn this stuff in
school or on the jobsite, but are expected unrealistically to meet your
and wants for indoor environmental quality based predominantly
on the skills of assembling building components.
This is the #1 reason why over 50% of occupants are unsatisfied
with their thermal environments.