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Dissecting Interactions Among Indoor Environmental Quality Factors



Hal Levin, Steven Emmerich


Many aspects of indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and the technologies that control or otherwise affect it are interactive and often closely connected. This has important implications for the design and construction of buildings as well as for operation, maintenance, and trouble-shooting in occupied buildings. ASHRAE Guideline 10, Interactions Affecting the Achievement of Acceptable Indoor Environments, was published in 2011 to call attention to the many interactions that designers might not have previously recognized or understood. Four factors—indoor air quality (IAQ), thermal environment, sound, and light—are widely regarded as the primary categories for classifying the acceptability of an indoor environment. Many if not most of the same technologies are used to control the thermal environment and IAQ. Many of the same technologies have impacts on the acoustic environment. Together with illumination, the collection of environmental control technologies can have dramatic impacts on building energy use and occupant environmental health. Each of the primary factors includes several separate aspects. Within the thermal comfort domain alone, there are four environmental factors (temperature, air speed, humidity, thermal radiation) and two human factors (level of physical activity and thermal insulation of clothing) that determine human responses to thermal conditions (ASHRAE 2010d). These factors interact to produce the overall environment and exposure that determines human experience and perception of the thermal environment and thermal comfort.
ASHRAE Journal


indoor air quality, thermal comfort, acoustics, lighting


Levin, H. and Emmerich, S. (2013), Dissecting Interactions Among Indoor Environmental Quality Factors, ASHRAE Journal, [online], (Accessed July 15, 2024)


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Created November 7, 2013, Updated October 12, 2021