Browsing Department of Mechanical Engineering & the Built Environment by Subjects
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Building Related Symptoms, Energ, and Thermal Comfort in the Workplace: Personal and Open Plan OfficesThis study compared building-related symptoms in personal and open plan offices, where high and low levels of control over the thermal environment were provided, respectively. The individualized approach in Norway provided every user with a personal office, where they had control over an openable window, door, blinds, and thermostat. In contrast, the open plan case studies in the United Kingdom provided control over openable windows and blinds only for limited occupants seated around the perimeter of the building, with users seated away from the windows having no means of environmental control. Air conditioning was deployed in the Norwegian case study buildings, while displacement ventilation and natural ventilation were utilized in the British examples. Field studies of thermal comfort were applied with questionnaires, environmental measurements, and interviews. Users’ health was better in the Norwegian model (28%), while the British model was much more energy efficient (up to 10 times). The follow-up interviews confirmed the effect of lack of thermal control on users’ health. A balanced appraisal was made of energy performance and users’ health between the two buildings.
Thermal Comfort and Energy Efficiency in a Naturally Ventilated Office: CFD, BES and a Field StudyThe energy crisis drives the design of the workplace towards passive systems, such as natural ventilation. The design of the ventilation system influences the energy demand of the building and comfort of the user. In order to improve the design, optimise the energy performance, predict and improve users’ comfort, the application of accurate computational modelling and analysis techniques are essential. This study reviews the advances in thermal comfort modelling and energy analysis of the workplace using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Building Energy Simulation (BES). This is followed by a case study of CFD-BES analysis of energy and thermal comfort of a practice example of a naturally ventilated office. This is a three storey building with an open plan layout in the UK and the office area of 3000 m2, including 375 workstations. It was awarded by the British Council for Offices, received an ‘excellent’ BREEAM rating and 10 out of 10 Environmental Performance Indicator (EPI) rating. The office is naturally ventilated with manually and mechanically operated windows and a stack effect through the vents above the atrium. Furthermore, environmental measurements and comfort surveys are applied in the case study buildings.