The Construct of Comfort: A Case Study of Environmental Comfort of University Classrooms
A large number of students spend more time at school than they do at home. This indicates the need to have comfortable spaces in educational buildings. The quality of an Indoor environment is directly related to students’ productivity and well-being, but recent researches mainly focus on the effects of single parameters on human comfort, without examining the other variables, such as thermal, acoustic, and visual. This paper studies the indoor comfort level of university classroms. The objective of this research is investigate the quality of the school environment in relation to comfort by analyzing all the factors (thermal, acoustic, lighting, air quality) which affects the users’ wellbeing. Researches have shown that the thermal, acoustical, visual quality in classrooms plays a significant role to students’ behaviour and performance. In order to optimize the students’ performance in clasrooms, all these variables need to be fully studied and considered. Past literature reviews studying the issue of indoor environmental quality and its comfort, mainly focused on the effects of a single factor. For instance, reviews have been conducted to study the conditions that lead to occupants’ satisfaction with the thermal environment or with the acoustic environment. There has been little or no review conducted to summarize the possible effects of different factors, thermal, visual and acoustic conditions as well as indoor air quality on indoor environmental quality. The present literature review was performed to gather more information on this matter. Therefore, this paper focuses on thermal, acoustic, lighting comfort, as significant factors that may have an effect on the students’ performance, with regards to attention, comprehension and learning levels.