Sustainicum Collection

Consus The aim of the project is to establish a regional science-society network for sustainability innovations in Albania and Kosovo in order to strengthen the connection and collaboration of institutions in the field of higher education, research and practice.

Sustainable Design Studio ‐ Indoor Environmental Quality(Resource ID: 286)

x Please note: module with excess length - more than
7 lecture units required!
This module, within the course of Sustainable Design Studio, aims to introduce students and some of the Construction and Material companies to the concepts necessary for investigating indoor environmental quality problems in the built environment and their link to health, comfort and occupant productivity. Indoor Environmental Quality focuses on the conditions inside the building. It includes air quality, access to daylight and views, pleasant acoustic conditions, and occupant control over lighting and thermal comfort. Users of the buildings can increase the satisfaction of building comfort by considering all of the aspects of indoor environmental quality. Students and Stakeholders will be presented with different instruments that they will be able to measure different components of IEQ. All the participants will create different groups and will take measures in some Indoor Areas (that will be decided by each group). In parallel, other members of the group will take some questionnaires to the users of that area and the data received will be put in a report that can help in the decision to be taken on the improvement of indoor environmental quality.

The teaching resource will require approximately 3 hours of lecture, 16 hours of fieldwork and 1 hour for conclusions.

In the course of Sustainable Studio it is important to include important aspects of Indoor Environmental Quality, in the way to introduce the participants to the problems associated with indoor environments, specifically indoor air quality. To analyze the properties and performance of the building environment related to the users need and specific comfort, the participants will become familiar with the causes, health risks and suitable actions to take for indoor environment problems; the participants should be able to evaluate the indoor comfort, all the components, and to be capable to give guidelines on achieving the standards for the indoor environmental quality.

Upon  completing  the  course  the  participants  should  be  aware  of  the  effects  of  heating  and ventilation on indoor air quality and thermal comfort, as well as the implications on energy management in the built environment. The participants will be able to distinguish the main aspects to be taken in consideration, to measure them and to give some solutions, in order to improve the indoor environmental quality.

The course will address the many sources of indoor pollution, such as building materials, finishes and furnishings that give out‐toxic gas fumes. Methods to control indoor pollution will also be discussed, such as source reduction and ventilation. Ventilation is recognized as the most effective means to remove airborne pollutants from buildings, assuming an effective airflow rate, filtration and airflow patterns. However, ventilation systems themselves may also be major contributors to indoor air quality problems, through inadequate distribution, filtration, system design, cross‐contamination, etc.

This module intends to deal specifically with indoor environment quality, however, other environmental  factors  which  affect  occupant  comfort,  health  and  well‐being  will  be  briefly discussed. This is necessary due to the interdependent nature of such factors and their ability to influence human perception of indoor environmental quality.

This module is integrated with Sustainable Design Studio, the course gives an overview of sustainable approaches to architecture, defining sustainability and exploring its development from the origins until the more current discussions in the contemporary architectural scene. The course will define methods and tools for bioclimatic analysis of the context (vast, intermediate and building scale); analysis of climatic parameters (Sun radiation, Ventilation calculation methods) and the definition of overall strategies aimed at Environmental comfort and optimization. Particular attention will be paid to the energy efficient design and towards the control of environmental eco-efficiency. The course will be delivered through a series of lectures and guided studio work. The primary phases of the work will be:  a) providing the student with the basic knowledge and tools concerning the project and to respond to essential comfort and energy saving requirements, relative to the project and to the environment, b) applying the acquired tools in the bioclimatic analysis of the context and the project. The IEQ module will try to make real analyses and to integrate them with the overall considerations of the entire course.

The module will end with a practical analysis exercise, where the theoretical part will meet the practice. Students and Stakeholders will be presented with different instruments that will be able to measure different components of IEQ. All the participants will create different groups and will take measures in some Indoor Areas (that will be decided by each group). Students together with stakeholders will take an exam in the indoor environment of an existing building and will measure all the indicators of the indoor environment quality. At the end of the assignment students will be able to build a database with all the measured indicators of the indoor environment and will compare them with the standards. In parallel, other members of the group will take some questionnaires to the users of that area and the data received will be put in a report that can help in the decision to be taken on the improvement of indoor environmental quality..

Working on site, with instruments and analyzing directly the data together with stakeholders is a method that could help all the participants to check all the theoretical information with the practical information they receive on site.

Integration of Social Stakeholders
The possible Construction and Material companies will be invited in during this course as important active partners. Students have the possibility to get in direct contact with the businesses that act in the market and to provide direct their interpretations. The stakeholders from the businesses benefit from the collaboration as well as they receive external, fresh and creative perspectives on their activities from the students and recommendations about their sustainability management processes, focusing on indoor environmental quality.
Active learning experience for students
Mutual learning for students and business stakeholders
Lack of instruments, students will not have all the necessary instruments to prepare a complete database with all the indicators

The interaction with possible Construction and Material companies, perhaps, will bring the focus directly to their company, including aspects that are not directly related to the main topic.
Learning Outcomes
To provide the participants with fundamental knowledge of building related illnesses, their causes and effects;

To enable the participants to develop the skills required to examine particular problems associated with indoor air quality, identify their causes and recommend mitigation strategies;

To encourage the participants to adopt creative design and planning practices based on the occupants health and well‐being;

To introduce different instruments that can help measuring the Indoor Air Quality

Analysis / measurement on site.
Relevance for Sustainability
The aim to reduce energy use and other environmental impacts that degrade indoor environmental quality and can have potentially significant negative impacts on health, comfort and productivity.
Related Teaching Resources
No specific previous knowledge / related resources required
Preparation Efforts
Preparation Efforts Description
Identification of suitable Construction and Material companies that are directly influencing the construction market. Furthermore, the companies should be an integrative part of the course during lecturing and during the presentation of the data collected/prepared by students. Site visits have to be scheduled for the groups of student for the analyses / measurement in existing buildings, which should be identified by the group.
The implementation and the gathering of data will be possible through the instruments of POLIS laboratory listed below:
Multi-function Instruments
KIMO - Solarimeter
Test Data Logger
Sound level meter
Thermal Imaging Camera
Refrigeration leak detector
Refrigeration Set
Heat flow meter, High Precision Instrument for Testing Insulating Materials
Credit/Certification Description
Sources and Links



Funded by
This teaching resource, realised within the project ConSus, has been funded with the support of the TEMPUS of the European Union. The contents reflect the views of the authors, and the European Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Juljan Veleshnja
This teaching resource is allocated to following University:
U_POLIS - POLIS University
POLIS University


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Teaching Tools & Methods

  • Measurement device