Simulation and experimental study of the indoor environment in a Norwegian hospital - Simulering og eksperimentell studie av inneklima i et norsk sykehus
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During the last decade the focus on the indoor climate has increased immensely, not only because it will decide the buildings energy consumption and sustainability, but because it will increase the chance of occupants being comfortable, productive and healthy. Hospitals have stricter demands than most other premises to enhance the healing environment and due to patients being more sensitive to impurities and the indoor climate. Nevertheless, challenges regarding the indoor climate in Norwegian hospitals are bigger than expected. Medical workers in Norway are shown to have the poorest indoor working environment of all working groups in Norway (Statistiks Sentralbyrå, 2017). The aim of this master's thesis is to investigate the indoor air quality and thermal environment and how this affects the medical staff's health at the Mobility Centre at St. Olavs Hospital in Trondheim. The perceived indoor air quality and indoor-related symptoms are investigated. Field measurements have been conducted at the second floor of the Mobility Centre, to evaluate and investigate the indoor air quality and thermal environment in correlation to health. Additionally, a survey was conducted to investigate how the indoor air quality is perceived by the employees at the hospital. Simulations have been performed to validate the measured results obtained from the field study, in addition to obtain a more comprehensive view of the annual indoor air quality and thermal environment. The results of the master's thesis are divided into three parts: the measured indoor climate parameters at the Mobility Centre, the results from the survey and lastly the results from the simulations. The field measurements of the indoor climate in the three evaluated rooms; one office room oriented west, orthopedic recovery room oriented towards west and day surgery recovery room, show that the indoor climate is overall sufficient. Nevertheless, the indoor air dry-bulb temperature in the office room reaches a significant high temperature during the working day with the peak at approximately 24°C. The carbon dioxide concentrations in the evaluated rooms were sufficient according to Standard Norge (2007a). The particulate matter concentration of particles below 2.5 g*10^(-6)g/m3, were sufficient in the office and the day surgery recovery room. The results from the survey show that the most common reported indoor climate problems were dry air (40%), poor air (32%), noise (32%) and too low temperatures (19%). The most frequent reported indoor health symptoms were dry/itching hands (23%), fatigue (23%), headache (22%) and feeling heavy-headed (23%). The survey shows that the measured indoor climate does not necessarily comply with the indoor perceived air quality. Results from the simulation model are compared with the measured data in the three evaluated rooms for the 10 respective days. A significant uncertainty exists when validating the simulations compared with the field measurement. The measured parameters compared with the simulations comply well in particular regarding the indoor air temperature in the orthopedic and day surgery room evaluated. However, with regards to other evaluated indoor climate parameters, the difference between the measured and simulated results are significant, even though similar trending curves for the respective parameters are shown. Nevertheless, uncertainties regarding e.g. building materials, thicknesses, user presence etc. precipitate the uncertainties of the simulation model further. The findings of this master's thesis show an overall sufficient indoor air quality and thermal environment, based on the results from the performed field study. The simulations conducted regarding the three evaluating room investigating the same parameters, show a deviation from the measured results. However, the created building simulation model can hopefully contribute to investigating possible measures to improve the respective indoor climate. In Norway today, few studies have been conducted regarding indoor climate in hospitals. Hence, this master's thesis can hopefully raise the possibility of future research and health strategies to improve the working environment for medical workers in Norwegian hospitals.