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Title: Room air temperature affects occupants' physiology, perceptions and mental alertness
Authors: Tham, K.W. 
Willem, H.C. 
Keywords: Cutaneous response
Mental alertness
Room air temperature
Salivary biomarker
Thermal perceptions
Issue Date: 2010
Citation: Tham, K.W., Willem, H.C. (2010). Room air temperature affects occupants' physiology, perceptions and mental alertness. Building and Environment 45 (1) : 40-44. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: Thermal environment that causes thermal discomfort may affect office work performance. However, the mechanisms through which occupants are affected are not well understood. This study explores the plausible mechanism linking room air temperature and mental alertness through perceptual and physiological responses in the tropics. Ninety-six young adults participated as voluntary subjects in a series of experiment conducted in the simulated office settings. Three room air temperatures, i.e. 20.0, 23.0 and 26.0 °C were selected as the experimental conditions. Both thermal comfort and thermal sensation changed significantly with time under all exposures (P < 0.0001). Longer exposure at 20.0 °C led to cooling sensations due to lower skin temperatures (P < 0.0001) and was perceived as the least comfortable. Nevertheless, this moderate cold exposure induced nervous system activation as demonstrated by the increase of α-Amylase level (P < 0.0001) and the Tsai-partington test (P < 0.0001). A mechanism linking thermal environment, occupants' responses and performance is proposed. © 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Source Title: Building and Environment
ISSN: 03601323
DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2009.04.002
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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