Measuring the Indoor Environmental Quality of Office Buildings and its Impact on Worker Productivity

In response to demands by clients for buildings that offer improved indoor environmental quality, Stantec Winnipeg, a Canadian professional services company has been looking for design solutions that emphasize aspects such as improved indoor air quality, lighting and acoustics. The company is therefore interested in conducting a building performance evaluation of one of its existing office buildings in Winnipeg. This project will serve as a pilot study to a larger project aiming to conduct post-occupancy evaluations of all of its four existing office buildings and its new one. Specific objectives of the pilot study involve developing a comprehensive protocol for evaluating indoor environmental quality, assessing indoor environmental quality in its existing office building, and assessing its relationship with organizational productivity. The project will involve a PhD student and two undergraduate students from the University of Manitoba in collaboration with four professionals from Stantec Winnipeg. Research methods involve using a mobile cart of instruments to measure various indoor environmental quality parameters such as temperature, air speed, humidity, light level, noise level, concentration of various gases, and a count of airborne particulates at various workstations across the building. These will be correlated with organizational productivity data; the ultimate aim being to incorporate knowledge derived from the study into the design and project management solutions and services offered to clients. The research will develop simple evaluation protocols that Stantec and its clients can use to conduct routine post-occupancy evaluations of their indoor environments, thereby enabling new business opportunities and thus improving their business competitiveness.

Principal Investigator(s): Mohamed Issa
Research Assistant (s): Abdul-Manan Sadick
Funding Source(s): NSERC Engage Grant
Funding Amount: $25,000
Project Duration: July 2013-December 2013

Department of Civil Engineering | University of Manitoba