Understanding occupants' well-being in an educational building: A case study in a college building

Xiaoyu Wang, Purdue University


Well-being is an important factor for a person's physical and psychological health. Modern people spend most of their time in indoor environment, and built environment impact physical and psychological well-being of people. However, most of the current research about occupants' well-being is focused on the working or residential environment, not on schools. In fact, educational environment's facilities would lead to satisfaction, therefore, various type of facilities such as educational building are the essential components of quality of college life. With increasing interest in and awareness of environmental protection, green or sustainable building has become an important topic. "Green" or "sustainability" is not only concerned with reducing the impact on the environment, but also on well-being of occupants. Therefore, the purpose of this research is to evaluate occupants' well-being in an educational building using the importance-performance analysis technique based on 5 categories set from literature review. This article conducted a case study using a self-administered questionnaire about Yue- Kong Pao Hall at Purdue University, Indiana. The lecture classrooms, design studios, a lobby and a lounge area have been studied regarding occupant well-being. The target population of this study was students using PAO Hall. A performance-importance model was used to analyze data. The results show that the ability to visual access to nature and the ability to control the natural lighting were the most demanded features of students when they use the public space, lecture classrooms, design studios in the PAO Hall. In addition, students not only required the function of the educational environment, but also highly demanded on aesthetic quality. For further design, design studios and public space should be the priority for natural lighting, and a public space, design studios, and lecture classrooms need to provide the ability to access to nature, no matter the view out to nature or use natural finishes to add a natural touch. Furniture adjustment and the ability to control the natural lighting is necessary when design these three areas. This study provides useful information to improve occupants' well-being in educational environment. In addition, the evaluation criteria developed from this research for occupants' well-being in public spaces, lecture classrooms, and design studios in educational environment could be a reference in future when evaluating occupants' well-being in educational environment.




Kwon, Purdue University.

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