Environmental Quality and Perceived Comfort

The Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) assesses the effects on humans of acoustic, thermal, visual, and air quality conditions in enclosed spaces. These effects impact various aspects, particularly the health, well-being, and productivity of occupants. The perception of IEQ contributes to defining comfort in the built environment (Indoor Environmental Comfort, IEC). There are objective and subjective variables influencing IEC, including physiological, personal, contextual, and behavioral factors.

The evaluation of IEQ and IEC employs a scientific and rigorous approach based on two complementary actions:

  • Long-term field monitoring of IEQ parameters (acoustic, thermal, visual, and air quality domains).
  • Collection of subjective feedback on IEC through questionnaires.

The "Indoor Environmental Quality & Comfort" project is a collaboration between the CALOS Directorate and the Departments of Energy (DENERG), Electronics and Telecommunications (DET), and Automatics and Informatics (DAUIN) at the Politecnico di Torino.

It is a university project aimed at improving the livability of the Politecnico's Campus.

To date, monitoring campaigns have been initiated in the P and R classrooms of our university. At present, it is currently underway a new plan for additional monitoring campaigns in common spaces and study rooms of the Campus as well.

We have initiated the monitoring of environmental quality in the P classrooms and in the distribution corridor of the building block where they are located. In addition to objective monitoring, we have also launched a campaign to gather subjective data to understand the perceived comfort in these spaces by the students who attend them during the academic period.

The experimentation has so far led to the achievement of preliminary results.

In particular:

  • The optimal placement of a multisensor has been observed in order to monitor IEQ during different hours of use in classrooms with different environmental characteristics in terms of orientation and exposure.
  • A campaign to raise awareness and involve occupants has been successfully launched with the aim of informing them about issues related to IEQ and IEC.

During the international conference Forum Acusticum held in the R classrooms from September 11th to 15th, 2023, a campaign to monitor environmental quality in Classroom R1 was initiated. The monitored IEQ data is shared on a screen visible in the atrium of Pavilion R with the aim of raising awareness among occupants towards a greater understanding of environmental quality.