Experimental and numerical analysis of indoor environmental conditions in two physiotherapy facilities in Northern Italy
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The comfort conditions are fundamental for the well-being of the occupants of a building. The design of both building envelope and HVAC and lighting systems has primarily to keep high quality levels of indoor comfort conditions. This is particularly true for healthcare facilities, where a comfortable environment can mean both a faster healing of the patients and a higher productivity rate of the employees. In this research, a comfort survey is carried out in two physiotherapy facilities in Bolzano, Italy. Long- and short-term measurements of air temperature and relative humidity and short-term measurements of mean radiant temperature, air velocity, illuminance, CO2 and CO concentrations are taken in the environments where the therapies are performed, from summer to autumn of the year 2018. The long-term conditions are monitored using HOBO sensors, with a 10-minute recording timestep, and installed approximately at the height of 1 m, to evaluate the conditions at the same level at which the therapies are performed. A Delta-Ohm HD32.1 microclimatic station with several probes is employed in similar positions for short term monitoring periods. During the whole survey, according to their availability, employees and patients are asked to assess thermal, light, acoustic comfort and air quality by means of questionnaires, developed starting from standards and previous works in literature. In details, anonymous questions are asked to collect data about personal conditions (sex, age, weight, height, clothing level, self-evaluation of the health status), comfort evaluations (seven points scale questions), type of detected discomfort issues (multiple-choice questions), date, time and room where the treatment is performed. Thanks to the data measured at the same times of the questionnaires’ answers, Fanger’s comfort indexes are calculated according to the technical standard EN ISO 7730 and compared with the real votes collected using the questionnaires. The results, together with a previous analysis made in Vienna in 2015, give good suggestions about the diagnosis of the indoor environmental quality and the control of the HVAC systems in this kind of facilities.