Patterns and Profiles for understanding the indoor environment and its occupants
Keywords:indoor environmental quality, preferences and needs, profiles, patterns of stressors
Research has shown that, even though the indoor environmental conditions seem to comply with current guidelines and those conditions seem ‘comfortable’ enough, staying indoors is not good for our health. Reasons for this discrepancy might be the fact that these guidelines are based on single-dose response relationships to prevent negative effects, and that the criteria are determined for an average adult person. A more complex model that accounts for all stressors, both positive and negative, interactions, and preferences and needs of the individual for different scenarios and situations was introduced. To validate this 'new' model, several field studies have been executed to determine patterns of stressors and profiles of people for different scenarios (office workers and their workplace; students and their homes; primary children and their classrooms; employees of outpatient areas in hospitals). The outcome shows that it is possible to determine patterns of stressors for different scenario's based on multivariate regression analysis of a survey of the occupants and the buildings they are occupying. Moreover, people differ in their preferences and needs, and it seems possible to distribute them into clusters based on TwoSteps cluster analysis of preferences and needs acquired through a questionnaire. It is concluded that all possible stressors, negative or positive, are important to consider when studying a certain disease or disorder; and that both profiles of IEQ-clusters and profiles of psychosocial clusters are important parts of this 'complex' model. Next steps should focus on interactions at human and environmental level, and how to account for those in the 'New' model.
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