4. THERMAL & AIRFLOW VARIABILITY
INCREASE Overall Comfort (3-5, 7, 9, 10)
INCREASE Sense of Control (4, 7)
IMPROVE Overall Comfort (3-5, 7, 9, 10)
INCREASE Attentiveness (2)
IMPROVE Mental Engagement (2, 6)
INCREASE Productivity (1)
IMPROVE Preference (5, 7, 8)
(1) Al Horr et al., 2016; (2) Allen et al., 2015; (3) Arens, Zhang, & Huizenga, 2006; Browning, Ryan, & Clancy, 2014; (4) Choi, Aziz, & Loftness, 2010; (5) de Dear, 2011; (6) Heschong Mahone Group, 2003a; (7) S. Kaplan, 1995; (8) Kellert, 2008; (9) LEED Reference Guide for Building Design and Construction, 2013; (10) Zhang, Arens, Huizenga, & Han, 2009)
“And forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair.”
Discomfort due to temperature and airflow can negatively impact attention and focus, and can add to discomfort.
This element describes thermal and airflow variability is subtle changes in:
Airflow across the skin
Surface temperatures that mimic natural environments (1, 3, 6).
While this website does not explain in depth thermal and airflow considerations, as this is primarly a tool for interior designers, it is worth noting it's importance. A substantial amount of information exists on this topic and are addressed in building standards like LEED, BREEAM, DGNB, WELL and LBC through code compliance. However, standards such as LEED accept that the goal is for 80% of the building inhabitants to be comfortable.
Research Fun Fact #12
A review of over 300 papers from 67 journals found a direct coorelation between poor indoor air quality and loss of productivity (1).
Research Fun Fact #13
This study looked at participants in 3 work environments:
Conventional: High VOC concentrations
Green: Low VOC concentrations
Green+ : High outdoor air ventilation
Cognitive scores were:
61% higher in green spaces
101% higher in green+ spaces! (2).
People prefer natural airflow that is not stagnant or over-processed (5). Hhigher levels of variability in areas such as light, sound, and temperature, can lead to overall sensory stimulation, and create opportunities for involuntary attention, as described in Non-Rhythmic Sensory Stimuli (4).
Adaptability prior to discomfort! (3)
The more individualization of temperature or airflow (heaters, fans, operable windows, thermostat control) that allows more people to be comfortable, the better.