My reflection on the interpretation of human perceived air quality in the indoor environment

Indoor Air Cartoon Journal, December 2019, Volume 2, #89

The primary purpose of any indoor environment is to create value for its inhabitants. Indoor air quality is one of the performance conditions any indoor environment must ensure to contribute to the value goal. When humans find themselves in an indoor environment where they have no choice but to stay in, their interpretation of perceived indoor air quality may be tolerance, acceptance, or satisfaction.

Tolerance is associated with poor perceived air quality. Acceptance and satisfaction are associated with good perceived air quality. Tolerance is a form of resistance of the mind to the disturbance caused by the poor perceived air quality.

Most people put up to (tolerate) the poor perceived air quality because they have or think they have no choice or idea on how, when, or where to get the solution needed to improve the poor perceived air quality. If they were in the position of providing a solution, they believe they would find it uncomfortable or inconvenient to provide a solution to the root cause of the problem.

Acceptance of perceived air quality is the occupants’ acknowledgment of the indoor air quality to be good for the health and wellbeing or work to be performed, i.e., occupants accept the usefulness of the perceived air quality. Acceptance of poor perceived air quality is impossible because the mind will always be disturbed as it provides no usefulness, leading to no clarity of mind. Many researchers confuse acceptance with satisfaction.

Satisfaction is a step higher than acceptance. Satisfaction can not occur if there is no acceptance. However, acceptance can occur without satisfaction. Satisfaction is about value delivery. Value in this context is the ratio of the usefulness provided by perceived air quality to invested resources – time, cost, effort/manpower – to achieve the usefulness.

Satisfaction occurs when the occupants perceiving the air experienced it or believed it to be able to support their health and wellbeing or improve their work performance (usefulness) with relatively little invested resources. Unsatisfaction may occur if resources required is relatively high or the perceived air quality is unacceptable. The main difference in the definition of acceptance and satisfaction is acceptance does not account for the resources required to achieve the “usefulness” of perceived air quality.

The main question to reflect upon is how can technology be adopted to monitor, collect data, transform the collected data into required information, and process the information to achieve the knowledge required to enhance the satisfaction of occupants perceiving the indoor air quality?

89. Reflection on perception_89

Do you want to know the research efforts made in assessing the satisfaction of occupants’ perceived air quality and other indoor environmental conditions? Read Frontczsk and Wargocki (2011), Frontczsk et al. (2012), and Zalejska-Jonsson and Wilhelmsson (2013) papers.

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