A protocol for longitudinal monitoring of individual building occupants and their environments

Graham Coulby, Adrian K. Clear, Oliver Jones, Suzanne McDonald, Alan Godfrey*

*Corresponding author for this work

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Buildings account for approximately 40% of the energy consumption across the European Union, so there is a requirement to strive for better energy performance to reduce the global impact of urbanised societies. However, energy performant buildings can negatively impact building occupants (e.g., comfort, health and/or wellbeing) due to a trade-off between airtightness and air circulation. Thus, there is a need to monitor Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) to inform how it impacts occupants and hence redefine value within building performance metrics. An individualised study design would enable researchers to gain new insights into the effects of environmental changes on individuals for more targeted e.g., health interventions or nuanced and improved building design(s). This paper presents a protocol to conduct longitudinal monitoring of an individual and their immediate environment. Additionally, a novel approach to environmental perception gathering is proposed that will monitor environmental factors at an individual level to investigate subjective survey data pertaining to the participant’s perceptions of IEQ (e.g., perceived air quality, thermal conditions, light, and noise). This protocol has the potential to expose time-differential phenomena between environmental changes and an individual’s behavioural and physiological responses. This could be used to support building performance monitoring by providing an interventional assessment of building performance renovations. In the future it could also provide building scientists with a scalable approach for environmental monitoring that focuses specifically on individual health and wellbeing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalPLoS One
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 22 Aug 2022


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