Towards a refined understanding of comfort in workspaces

This interdisciplinary research aims at addressing a question common to the fields of architecture, building technology and psychophysics: are there objective relationships between perceived comfort, occupant response patterns and lighting conditions? The prospect of getting a grasp on these relationships immediately opens up new opportunities for improved workspace design – towards higher productivity and performance – and for further investigations on well-being in built spaces and a deeper understanding of people’s visual response to their environment. The intent is to advance the state of the art in visual and thermal comfort assessment in interior spaces by including two new components: the relationship between lighting conditions and gaze patterns, and the impact of critical socio-cultural factors on perceived comfort. We will compare findings in two identical setups but that belong to very different overall contexts: one in Central Europe (Lausanne, Switzerland), one in the Middle East (Ras-Al-Kaimah, U.A.E.), so as to assess socio-cultural and climate-induced differences. We will thus extend the objectification of comfort criteria beyond environmental factors and beyond geographical or climatic boundaries. With lighting – and more specifically visual and thermal comfort - being a key issue for workplace-related health and productivity, our results are critical for workplace design, ergonomics and architecture in a sustainable world.

Presented at:
Swiss – Emirati Friendship Forum: UAE-Swiss Research Day 2011, Lausanne, Switzerland, 22 - 23 June 2011

 Record created 2011-06-09, last modified 2018-03-17

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