Measured and perceived conditions of indoor environmental qualities (IEQ) of university learning environments in semi-arid tropics
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
This study investigates the conditions and the levels of satisfaction with indoor environmental quality (IEQ) in naturally ventilated (NV) learning environments in Bayero University, Kano and compares the results to international comfort standards’ thresholds. It examines the thermal and visual comfort, acoustic quality as well as the indoor air quality of six learning environments in the University consisting of four lecture theatres and two laboratories. Researches in IEQ have shown that good quality indoor environment enhances occupants’ comfort, wellbeing, raises their productivity, and most importantly for this research, it raises students’ performances, reduces absenteeism, and reduces stress and fatigue among teachers. IEQ researches are mostly being undertaken in the four most advanced continents that are situated in the temperate regions of the world, but not in sub-Saharan Africa. Using both measurement and survey methods, internal and external physical parameters (air and radiant temperatures, air velocity, relative humidity, background noise, sound pressure level, horizontal and vertical illumination level, carbon dioxide concentration and particulate matter) were evaluated. The assessments were undertaken three times covering ten months, August 2016 to May 2017, which coincided with the three distinct seasons (warm and wet; cool and dry & hot and dry) in Kano. PMV model, as always, failed to predict the thermal conditions of the learning environments. Similarly some of the measured and calculated IEQ parameters, have not met the thresholds specified by the adaptive components of ASHRAE-55, but were in agreement with EN 15251, the respondents expressed their acceptance of their learning environments, subjectively. This is not surprising as these standards were often based on experiments implemented in developed countries, where the severity of the climatic conditions and the culture are dissimilar to sub Saharan Africa. The outcome of the research is hoped to raise awareness of IEQ potentialities among the academia, building industry professionals, building owners, university managers and other education policy makers in the region.
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