What is IEQ and why it is important for Universities?
The modern digital world of the 21st century has been ‘turned upside down’ due to the Pandemic Crises of COVID 19. It has brought a major change in our daily life. Humanity came out of caves millions of years back mainly to explore the outside world. Now humanity is required to remain confined to modern ‘caves’ like houses, classrooms and hostels. From interaction between human and outer environment, the attention is now prioritized to interaction between Human and Indoor Environment. I call it not just ‘sea change’. I call it ‘ planetary change’
Indoor environmental quality (IEQ) inside a building is the key element to make a building suitable for human habitation, learning for a sustainable future. Indoor Environmental Quality, is more comprehensive – it is about what we breathe, see, hear, feel and get impacted inside a building.
ISHRAE, (The Indian Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers) describes IEQ as the environmental conditions inside regularly occupied space that is determined by many factors, including IAQ, thermal comfort, visual comfort, acoustic comfort as well as ergonomics.
NIOSH (National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health) states IEQ as “the quality of a building’s environment concerning the health and wellbeing of its occupants and includes aspects of design, analysis, and operation that lead to energy-efficient, healthy, and comfortable buildings.”
Why IEQ is important?
Humans are likely to spend more of their time, more than 80-90%, indoors after COVID-19. IEQ interacts dynamically with its user and affects them physiologically and psychologically regulate the occupant’s confidence, performance, absenteeism, learning outcome, and performance satisfaction. The Covid-19 pandemic-imposed constrains and forced humans to stay indoors for an extended period that derived focused attention IEQ mainly to enhance the quality of life, in face of constraints
Why IEQ is important for Universities?
Indoor Environmental Quality is an important issue in educational buildings, ( classrooms, canteen, hostels, administrative office, laboratories, research centres, library, recreational buildings, auditoriums ) since they are directly related to students’ health, well-being, lower absenteeism, quality of learning and performing the various task. Facilitating young adults (aged 18-25 years) and teachers (aged 25-65 years) in higher education might require a different IEQ in which they can perform optimally.
Strategic link to Climate Change
Improved indoor air quality with reduced CO2 levels in the classrooms have been linked to improved speed of task completion by 12 %, reduction of errors by 2 % and improvement of daily attendance by 2.5 % as per
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