Occupant Behaviour as a resource for acoustic comfort. Validation and evolution of a method for the reduction of noise generated by occupants
Occupant Behaviour (OB) is gaining continuously more attention in building energy research community since it is currently aware that building occupants tend to interact with building system. For example, occupants perform adaptive actions for adapting the environment to their needs (e.g. adjusting heating/cooling set points, lighting levels, window and sunscreens condition) and/or they adapt themselves to the environment (e.g. changing the room, moving through the space, raising voice levels).
Nowadays, building energy research community are making greatest effort to increase the engagement and the aware of occupants towards energy efficiency operations. In this framework, the state-of-art in acoustic research field highlights gaps and shortcomings on methods to motivate behavioural change and active engagement of occupants although the acoustic comfort is strongly affected from noise generated by themselves.
The present research aims to address part of the current limitations developing a method to encourage proactive behaviours, such as lowering voice levels, and to raise awareness on how Occupant Behaviour (OB) can affect the acoustic conditions and well-being in indoor spaces. The key factor of this method is a noise monitoring system with lighting feedback that alternates colours from green, yellow and red according to the change of noise levels. The outcome of the prototyping phase and the objective and subjective key findings of field application in Italian primary classrooms and in a Finnish open-plan office are the focus of the present study.
Sonja Di Blasio is an Italian architect born in province of Cuneo in 1990. Currently, she is enrolled as a Ph.D. student in the doctoral school of Management, Production and Design at Politecnico di Torino and she is working with Applied Acoustic Group in the Department of Energy of Politecnico di Torino. Thanks to interest for acoustic field and innovation programs she is focusing on the validation of a social innovation technology for monitoring and improving acoustic conditions in indoor spaces in collaboration with external companies. Since 2017 she performed tutoring and assistance in the courses of Building Physics at Politecnico di Torino. During her PhD activities she attended several innovation programs (Hackathon Urban Spaces, Innovation for Change and European Innovation Academy), and she was a PhD visitor for 3 months in 2019 at Built Environment Research Group of Turku University of Applied Sciences.
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