Occupant acceptance as a screening parameter for indoor environmental assessments

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose – This study seeks to investigate the usefulness of occupant acceptance as a preliminary screen measure for offices' indoor air quality (IAQ). An effective alert indication of IAQ problems of a concerned indoor environment would help to promote good IAQ. Design/methodology/approach – The study evaluates the hypothesis that the occupant dissatisfaction with the overall indoor environment provides an indication of IAQ problems. Hence, occupant dissatisfaction would be used as a screening parameter to identify problematic IAQ regarding some IAQ criteria in subsequent IAQ assessments. The hypothesis was tested with a database of regional crosssectional measurement in 490 offices within Hong Kong. Findings – The occupants' dissatisfaction with the indoor environmental quality (IEQ) was correlated with the IAQ assessment results of nine IAQ assessment parameters regarding some IAQ criteria for airconditioned offices. At certain screening levels of predicted IEQ dissatisfaction, the performance of the proposed screening tool, indicating unsatisfactory office IAQ, was evaluated in terms of the test sensitivity, specificity, predictive values and Yule's Q statistics. The results showed that occupants' response to the indoor environment produced indications of unsatisfactory IAQ regarding the requirement of an “Excellent” office. Research limitations/implications – The subjective feelings of occupants are capable of identifying marked indoor environmental problems, but cannot identify the “marginal” IAQ problem cases. Practical implications – The study shows the usefulness of using occupant acceptance to identify the unrecognized IAQ problems for airconditioned office environment. Using the identification model developed in the study, all the suspected cases were associated with a high chance of IAQ dissatisfaction and subsequent IAQ assessments were thus recommended. Originality/value – The paper proposes a new identification method to identify the unrecognized IAQ problems which may indicate unsatisfactory IAQ. Also, the occupants' responses on the indoor environment are quantified.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)338-347
Number of pages10
Issue number7-8
Publication statusPublished - 25 May 2010


  • Environmental testing
  • Hong Kong
  • Office buildings

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Human Factors and Ergonomics
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction


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