Factors that Influence Human Comfort
Temperature: Temperature is the measure of how much heat energy is in the air inside a room or building. In a building we usually say temperature to mean the air in the room, but it can be the temperature of the walls or other materials. The temperature of the air varies depending on how much heat energy it contains, and we can add heat energy to the air and raise the temperature using a heat source such as a radiator or an electric fire. The air temperature inside of a building will change depending on the temperature outside the building and the k-values of the materials used to build the walls and insulation. K-values are the values that all materials have which shows how good insulators the materials are, the lower the k-value the more affective the materials are at retaining heat. The u-value is the overall heat resistance of the materials. Convection is a heat transfer mechanism, resulting in the movement of air of different temperatures, in convection hot air rises and cold air sink
Air Movement and Ventilation: Although it is important to keep the heat in a building during cold weather we also need regular air changes to remove moist, stale air and take in fresh clean air. Stale air can be caused by cooking, washing and people breathing. There is a balance that is needed to be found between keeping a building sealed to prevent heat loss and allowing enough ventilation to keep air quality comfortable. Stale and moist air is normally removed using vents, opening windows or extractor fans which suck the moist air outside using a propeller and a duct. As a result of all these factors being closely linked Convection is also a term used in Air Movement as the Hot air rises causing the Cold air to Sink.
Sound: Sound is generated by vibrations in the air and travels through the air in the form of waves. If there are several sources of sound, then these can combine to create a higher decibel level. Unwanted sound is known as noise. Sources of sound in a house include voices, friction and movement. Sound waves can have different frequencies. Low frequency sound waves are often known as bass and high frequency sound waves as treble. Examples of low frequency sound are noise from planes and vehicles and high frequency sound the noise from a smoke alarm. Sound waves will bounce off surfaces in the building. The harder the surface the more easily the sound will bounce off. Each time the sound waves bounce off a surface they will lose some of their energy until eventually the sound is deadened and this is called the Reverberation time. We usually want a quiet environment to sleep and work in, so we need to use sound reducing methods of construction in a building.
Light: Light is provided by a light source this can be a natural source such as the sun or an artificial source such as a light bulb. There are two main ways which we can provide light to the inside of a building, daylight and artificial light. Daylight is...