A construction project’s design phase offers an opportunity to enhance performance throughout the building’s lifespan. Frequently, projects are just intended to adhere to the bare minimum of local building codes. A design that exceeds codes, however, might offer a great return on investment. A proper design for HVAC systems results in energy savings and a more comfortable indoor environment.
Business activity takes place in office buildings, and inhabitants can work more effectively if they are comfortable. The quality of the lighting, indoor temperature, air speed, and air quality are some of the main aspects that affect comfort. Be aware that they have an effect on human health as well as comfort.
How To Choose The Proper Indoor Air Temperature
When discussing human comfort, subjective aspects are relevant. One person may find a temperature to be too hot or too chilly while another finds it to be just right. The difficulty lies in finding an indoor temperature that is cozy for the greatest number of individuals.
How indoor temperature affects productivity has been investigated by reputable research institutions around the world:
- The results vary depending on the study, but generally speaking, human productivity peaks between 21°C and 25°C (70°F and 77°F) in temperature.
- Low thermostat settings, like 17°C (62°F), and high settings, like 30°C (86°F), have been shown to have a negative impact on workplace productivity. In these situations, productivity reductions of 5% to 7% have been noted.
- In general, men are more sensitive to high temperatures than women, with women generally being more impacted by cold temperatures.
These findings indicate that an HVAC system that maintains the temperature within the ideal range is a profitable investment. Accurate heating and cooling load calculations and proper capacity specifications for the appropriate equipment are required to achieve this.
Even if it takes more work, it is feasible to be productive in hot or cold environments. The identical work may be seen as more challenging and exhausting in the second example if it is carried out in both comfortable and unfavorable conditions.
There is a certification system that laid out a scoring system where points are awarded for designing buildings with temperature changes. Instead of having the same temperature for everyone, this allows people to sit wherever they are most comfortable. Additionally, installing localized temperature controls for residents will earn building owners some points.
Air Velocity And Indoor Air Quality Are Important
Humans in urban areas spend 90% of their time indoors, per the US Environmental Protection Agency. Air quality preservation is crucial for creating comfortable and healthy building interiors. Although carbon dioxide typically receives the most attention, other chemicals can be hazardous at far lower amounts. For instance, several health problems have been connected to particulate matter (PM) and volatile organic compounds (VOC).
Strong odors from air contaminants are unpleasant, but smell is not a good indicator of air quality. While some VOCs have nice odors, many hazardous compounds are odorless. Even if they cannot be smelled, air pollution induce respiratory discomfort, and asthmatics may experience flare-ups.
Controlling air velocity is particularly crucial since, even in an environment where air quality is kept under control, a drafty atmosphere can lead to discomfort and health issues. The use of improperly sized air ducts or overly large or poorly regulated fans frequently results in problems with air velocity. The scoring system mentioned above awards points for the usage of radiant HVAC systems, which deliver heating or cooling through the natural circulation of air.
A well-designed HVAC system saves energy while maintaining a comfortable and healthful indoor environment for occupants. A smart HVAC design can increase productivity in office buildings and make occupants feel more comfortable at work.
Building owners should strive for a temperature that is deemed agreeable by the majority of tenants because temperature preferences vary. According to research, human productivity typically peaks between 21 and 25 degrees Celsius (70 and 77 degrees Fahrenheit). In addition to maintaining air quality, an HVAC system should limit rapid air movement.