Summary

 

  • In the framework of the SEARCH II project, a combined comfort index (the SEARCH II index) was developed in order to create a simple and readily understandable synthesis of various physical para-meters perceived by children (who completed the comfort questionnaires), which can help schools to optimise children’s comfort and energy consumption in the school.
  • The SEARCH II index was based on the rating of participating children’s perceptions of thermal comfort, indoor air quality, noise and lighting in the classroom, using questions from the comfort questionnaire.
  • Weighted and non-weighted indexes were tested for correlations with measured values for temperature, relative humidity and CO2 concentrations, as well as with the reported prevalence (frequency) of health symptoms and with the building envelope index and energy index. The weighted combined comfort index (perceived air quality 40 percent; perceived air temperature 30 percent; perceived noise 20 percent; and perceived lighting 10 percent) was found to be a useful indicator of perceived indoor comfort.
  • The SEARCH II index was pilot tested in the SEARCH II project and should be validated in practice through well-designed studies to assess the effectiveness of interventions before and after modernisation that might affect children’s comfort.
 
Ministero Dell'ambiente Italian Trust Fund