A Comparison of Students’ Thermal Comfort and Perceived Learning Performance between Two Types of University Halls: Architecture Design Studios and Ordinary Lecture Rooms during the Heating Season

Rana Elnaklah (Lead / Corresponding author), Yara Ayyad, Saba Alnusairat, Husam Al Waer, Abdulsalam AlShboul

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)
193 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

In classrooms, several variables may affect students’ thermal comfort, and hence health, well-being, and learning performance. In particular, the type of learning activity may play a role in students’ thermal comfort. However, most of the previous research has mainly investigated the thermal comfort of students in ordinary classrooms, while less attention has been paid to students’ thermal comfort in classrooms with particular learning activities, such as architecture design studios, where students spend a long time and perform learning activities with high metabolic rates. For this purpose, we compared the thermal comfort and perceived learning performance of students majoring in architecture (n = 173) between two types of university halls, namely, design studios and typical lecture rooms (N = 15). We applied the classroom–comfort–data method, which included collecting physical, physiological, and psychological data from students and classrooms. Data were collected during the heating season (November 2021–January 2022) in a university building in Jordan. We conducted continuous monitoring combined with periodic measures for indoor temperature, relative humidity, mean radiant temperature, and air speed. Questionnaires, focus groups, and observations were also used to collect subjective data from students. The results showed statistically significant differences (Δμ = 3.1 °C, p < 0.01, d = 0.61) in indoor temperature between design studios and lecture rooms. Only 58% of students’ votes were within the ASHRAE 55-2107 recommended comfort zone. In design studios, 53% of students felt warm compared to 58.8% of students who had a cold sensation in lecture rooms. Students perceived themselves as more productive when they felt cooler. Our research’s significance lies in its injunction that there must be a special thermal comfort guide for educational buildings that are adapted to the local environment and functions of the spaces, cooperatively.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1142
Number of pages31
JournalSustainability
Volume15
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Jan 2023

Keywords

  • Middle East
  • design studios
  • perceived learning performance
  • students’ thermal comfort
  • university building

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Building and Construction
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment

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