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James Katungyi PhD Proposal Presentation - MMCH 121

  • Carnegie Mellon University - MMCH 121 5000 Forbes Avenue PIttsburgh United States (map)

James Katungyi will present the proposal for his thesis, "The impact of daytime circadian thermal variability on sleep quality, sedentary time, resting heart rate and reaction speed at simple tasks of building occupants," to obtain the PhD in Building Performance & Diagnostics (PhD-BPD), on Monday 11 November.

Title: “The impact of daytime circadian thermal variability on sleep quality, sedentary time, resting heart rate and reaction speed at simple tasks of building occupants”
By James Katungyi, PhD-BPD candidate

Date: Monday, 11 November 2019
Time: 3:00-5:00pm
Location: MMCH 121

Abstract

Indoor thermal environments, in which people spend most of their time, can affect occupant well-being. However, current tools for evaluating indoor thermal environments do not measure the impact of indoor thermal conditions on occupant well-being. This research explores 4 metrics - sleep quality, sedentary time, resting heart rate and reaction speed at simple tasks (RT) - to investigate the impact of indoor thermal environments on occupant well-being and productivity.

Two field experiments will be conducted to compare between-subject and within-subject differences in sleep quality, sedentary time, resting heart rate and RT in different thermal environments. The first experiment will be an observational between-subject qualitative field experiment in three types of office thermal environments - naturally ventilated (NV), mixed mode (MM) and air conditioned (AC). A total of 90 participants will be recruited from office workers in Kampala. 30 will be recruited from NV environments, 30 from MM environments and 30 from AC environments. Participants will fill out a customized sick building syndrome (SBS) questionnaire once, at the start of the experiment. They will then report on their sleep quality, thermal sensation and thermal comfort daily for 5 working days. The first experiment will set the stage for a second field experiment. The second experiment will be a deep dive into the impact of thermal variability on occupant's sleep quality, sedentary time, resting heart rate and RT. It will be an interventional within-subject quantitative experiment. 34 university students on holiday will be recruited for the experiment in Kampala. Participants will work on clerical tasks for 5 days in a thermal environment set at 22°C (about 72°F) and then for another 5 days in a thermal environment where temperatures will be varied hourly to match the outdoor changes. The total experiment duration will be 10 working days excluding weekends. Participants will fill out an SBS questionnaire once. Their sleep quality, sedentary time and resting heart rate will be logged for the experiment duration. Participants will also take reaction time tests once every day during the experiment. Participants will also fill out thermal sensation and thermal comfort surveys.

Experiment data will be analyzed for differences in self reported sleep quality, SBS symptoms, measured sleep quality, sedentary time, resting heart rate and RT in the different thermal environments. The analysis will also compare occupant perception of their thermal environment (as reported on the thermal sensation and comfort surveys) to the actual impact of the thermal environment on occupant well-being (as measured in sleep quality, sedentary time, resting heart rate and RT)

The main premise of the research is that connectivity to outdoor thermal variability is necessary for human well-being. The research explores biophilic thermal conditioning based on the biophilia hypothesis that human well-being requires connectivity to the natural environment.

Keywords

Biophilic thermal conditioning, occupant well-being, SBS, sleep quality, sedentary time

Link to Proposal