Prosjekt Untitled Document


Project: Evaluation of the indoor environment and health effects in Nowegian schools


Field of research
Sustainable energy systems

Guangyu Cao

Co supervisor(s)
Hans Martin Mathisen

Specialization Course
Thermal Energy and Indoor Environment

Heating, Ventilating and Air Conditioning (HVAC) systems account for a substantial proportion of energy consumption in non-residential buildings and have been identified as a vital target area where significant reductions in energy use can be achieved. One report shows the loads from HVAC to comprise approximately 39 % of commercial electricity use, of which 17 % of the load was contributed to ventilation. It is clear that poor indoor air quality and the main pollution sources may cause adverse health effects on human health. Consequences of poor indoor air quality can be respiratory tract infections, asthma exacerbation, headache, abnormal tiredness, dry skin, dry and irritated mucous membranes of the eyes nose and throat. In the last two decades, attempts have been made to discover the controversial relationships between indoor air quality, thermal comfort, health effect and student learning performance. In Norway, a large amount of existing buildings are still using conventional or local exhaust ventilation, which may result in an undesired indoor climate for good health. Several studies showed that the mean indoor CO2 concentration in many existing buildings was higher than 1000 ppm, which is the advised maximum CO2 concentration indoors. A recent study was conducted in a high school in Vestfold county in Norway, and it showed that over 30% of students have experienced health problems such as headaches and concentration problems, every week for the last 3 months. Over 40% have experienced heavy-headed and over 60% have experienced fatigue.
Objective: The aim of the project is to investigate and evaluate the effect of indoor environment on human’ health in school buildings in Norway.
This project will be connected with the on going DIGG-MIN-SKOLE project, which is funded by the Research Council of Noway. NILU and Oslo Bygg KF are leading this project. NTNU and several other municipalities and companies are partners of this project.

The following tasks are to be considered:
1) Literature review regarding the following issues:
-What are typical ventilation solutions in school buildings in Norway?
- How does the indoor environment affect human' health?_
2) Select case buildings for data collection of indoor environment quality and feedback from students
3) Analysis of ventilation systems in selected school buildings and preparation of measurement and user survey for school buildings (this task can be continued in a master thesis)
4) Data collection from case buildings or from earlier relevant studies regarding indoor environment quality, thermal comfort and health symptoms (this task can be continued in a master thesis)
5) Evaluate the indoor environment and health effect
6) Make conclusions and suggestions for schools
7) Prepare a short article to disseminate the research results and propose a research topic for master project

Requirements: TEP4315 Indoor Environment, TEP4245 HVAC Engineering or equivalent knowledge

Recommended study program: -
- Energy and Environment (5 yr)
- Mechanical Engineering (5 yr)
- Mechanical Engineering (2 yr)
- Energy and Environment (2 yr)

- MSc in Sustainable Energy (2 yr)