Acoustic, thermal and luminous comfort in classrooms

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Building and Environment 39 (2004) 1055 – 1063

Acoustic, thermal and luminous comfort in classrooms
Eduardo L. Krugera , Paulo H.T. Zanninb;∗
b Laboratà rio o a Centro Federal de Educacao Tecnolà gica do Paranà Curitiba, Paranà , Brazil ˜ o a a de Acà stica Ambiental-Industrial e Conforto Acà stico, Departamentode Engenharia Mecˆ nica, Centro Polità cnico, Universidade u u a e Federal do Paranà , Bairro Jardim das Amà ricas, Curitiba, Paranà , 81531-990, Brazil a e a

Received 25 March 2002; received in revised form 26 July 2003; accepted 20 January 2004

Abstract Environmental comfort embodies four di erent research areas: thermal, luminic, acoustic and ergonomic comfort. However, regarding thebuilt environment, architects and civil engineers should primarily concentrate their e orts on the ÿrst three, considering that ergonomic comfort is more related to designers. The purpose of the present paper is to discuss the results of a series of investigations regarding the performance of classrooms, which took place in classrooms of the Federal Center of Technological Education of the StateParanà (Centro a Federal de Educac˜ o Tecnolà gica do Paranà —CEFET-PR). Thus, it was possible to cover most of the research area of environmental a o a comfort in an integrated manner. ? 2004 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Thermal comfort; Luminic comfort; Acoustic comfort

1. Introduction One of the basic aims of sustainability is to satisfy the needs of the population withoutharnessing the perspectives of future generations. In order to achieve this, a systems approach is necessary, i.e., the consideration of a whole functional world with interdependent parts [1]. The ecological view considers the manner how these parts interact to form the natural and social environment: the origin of raw materials, how these should be manufactured, how their use will a ect theenvironment and how the community makes use of a particular technology. From this point of view, any e ort taken regarding environmental protection will contribute to the preservation of natural resources and to sustainability. Thus, in the planning stage of a given architectural project, planners should have in mind: the importance of solar orientation, the correct dimensioning of ventilation and daylightopenings, the correct choice of materials considering that each region has a distinct, particular climate type. The choice of the correct option for each one of these items will contribute to the improvement of environmental comfort of
∗ Corresponding author. Tel.: +55-41-361-3433; fax: +55-41-2660222. E-mail address: (P.H.T. Zannin).

the building and consequently helprationalize the use of HVAC systems needed, therefore reducing energy consumption and promoting an adequate manner of using natural resources. Environmental comfort embodies four research areas: thermal, luminous, acoustic and ergonomic comfort. However, regarding the built environment, architects and civil engineers should primarily cooperate on the ÿrst three, while ergonomic comfort mainly refersto designers. Regarding classrooms, planners should have in mind that environmental factors of the building itself will a ect the process of learning and teaching. A poor acoustic performance of the classroom will have an e ect on both the understanding by the students and the physical stress of the teacher. Also, inadequate lighting will have an e ect on attention and student’s performance. Thecorrect use of daylight can also promote energy conservation and in many cases create a pleasant atmosphere for learning and teaching activities. Thermal discomfort such as overheated or too cold classrooms can be associated to physical stress (thermal stress) and therefore be responsible for illnesses and poor performance of the students. Huntington [2] analyzed systematic measurements of...
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