CANCELLED: Mechanism of Human Responses to Ventilation Rates and Air Temperature

July 2, 2010 - 12:00pm
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(THIS SEMINAR TO BE RESCHEDULED.) Sustainability of the built-environment must be achieved in parallel with the sustenance of occupants’ health and comfort. Actions to conserve energy and resources require much forethought and careful consideration due to possible consequences on the human aspects. Thus, many extensive works in the recent decades have focused on identifying the associations between indoor environment and human responses. Results have shown moderate to strong implications of thermal and indoor air quality factors on the prevalence and intensity of sick building syndrome (SBS) symptoms, sickness absenteeism and even exacerbation of asthma. Studies on work performance have also shown that thermal condition and indoor air quality could adversely affect mental and work performance of the occupants.   Despite a considerable body of literature on the associations between health or SBS symptoms and the indoor environmental conditions, there has been a very limited investigation on the physiological mechanisms through which a person may be adversely affected. The lack of objective measures to complement the survey-oriented outcomes is one of the major challenges in studies pertaining to human responses. At this point, emerging application of human enzymatic biomarker may offer a new insight on the bodily responses to the environment and may further explain subsequent effects on health and work performance. This presentation highlights recent research results on human responses to ventilation rate and air temperature with emphasis on the application of salivary biomarkers and the plausible mechanism derived from the result. Preliminary findings from a case-control study on asthmatics will also be discussed. Arising from the findings, plausible mechanisms are subsequently analyzed using structural equation model and the cost-benefit analysis based on ten-year forecast is estimated using net present value method.  

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