Assessing occupant comfort in an iconic sustainable education building
Results for factors such as lighting, thermal comfort, noise and air quality. were compared to benchmarks established by the Usable Buildings Trust. The evaluation also assessed the occupants’ perceptions of the building’s impact on their own productivity.
Users generally find the building provides a comfortable work environment although a number of areas of performance were noted as posing some concerns. These included intrusive noise in some parts of the building and some issues with glare in daylit teaching spaces. Such concerns were found to be in accord with the results of previous studies and they highlight some recurrent problems in “green” buildings designed to maximise the use of natural ventilation and natural light. These design challenges and how occupant satisfaction is to be measured and benchmarked are also discussed in the context of this comparative building study.