Perceived importance of the quality of the indoor environment in commercial buildings

Hung Kit Lai, Francis W.H. Yik

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Recognition of the importance of the quality of the indoor environment (IEQ) to health, comfort and productivity of building end users has produced increasing numbers of voluntary schemes whose assessment embraces a wide spectrum of environmental attributes. Studies which aim to derive appropriate weighting factors for these attributes through soliciting the perceived importance from experts are abundant. This article reports the findings of a study which, based on face-to-face interviews with 548 end users and 66 building professionals, processed their perceived importance of IEQ using the analytical hierarchy process (AHP). Attributes included were thermal comfort, air cleanliness, odor and noise associated with the air conditioning system of typical commercial buildings. Correlation analysis of the ranking results of the AHP weights revealed the difference in perceived importance of the attributes according to gender of the respondents. Other factors also found to have influence on the perceived importance of the IEQ were whether the respondents were professionals or other end users and the reason for them working or visiting the buildings and the duration of their stay. These all varied with psychophysical factors such as personal experiences, needs and expectations. Further work is needed to study whether the weighting factors should be derived from the perceptions of experts, end users, or a balance between the two.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)311-321
Number of pages11
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2007


  • Assessment scheme
  • Commercial building
  • Indoor environment quality
  • Perceived importance
  • Psychophysical elements

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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