HOPE: Health Optimisation Protocol for Energy-efficient Buildings
Pre-normative and socio-economic research to create healthy and energy efficient buildings

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  Introduction Performance Criteria Multidisciplinary field study Protocol for building Evaluation


Protocol for building Evaluation


The overall protocol to assess the performance of the building includes three phases:

  1. data collection
  2. detailed investigation
  3. final building classification

as shown in the following scheme.

In the first phase (Data collection) health and comfort performance of buildings is evaluated in two ways: (1) by surveying the occupants using a s elf-administered questionnaire; (2) and by assessing the indoor environmental conditions through a number of environmental parameters (e.g., biological, VOCs, and particulate) . Energy performance is evaluated assessing (1) technological and constructive characteristics and (2) energy consumption data of buildings.

In the second phase (Detailed investigation) health and comfort are evaluated by measuring a set of environmental parameters and energy performance is evaluated by a detailed analysis of energy efficiency (if necessary).

In the third phase ( Health and energy efficiency building classification), starting from performance criteria, three categories have been developed to classify buildings, both from health and energy efficiency point of view.

Phase 1 - Data collection

Two tools have been developed to collect data necessary to the assessment the buildings:

  • Building checklist (offices), related to general building information. The checklist is used to collect data to evaluate both health and energy performance. The checklist is completed by interview with building manager and by building inspection.
  • Questionnaires (Office: Office environmental survey; Apartment: Personal questionnaire adults and personal questionnaire child), related to the perceived state of health and comfort by the occupants of the building and for the apartments a Household questionnaire, related to constructive, technological, and behavioural features of the single apartment that can not be assessed through the building checklist.

Building assessment

The Health and comfort hazards are evaluated, with data from checklists and questionnaires, using two different ways of assessment:
  • Major illnesses (class 1 and class 2 hazards) are evaluated on the presence of building-related risk factors. when possible through an objective evaluation of building characteristics and occupant behaviour. This is done using logic algorithms, the hazard assessments, based on checklists and questionnaire responses. An overview of tools to collect data used is given in table 2. This algorithm can give three different outputs for each hazard considered: hazard present (or high presence), hazard possibly present (or low presence) or hazard not present.
  • Comfort related hazards (class 3 hazards) are evaluated elaborating the occupant questionnaires rates by a mathematical algorithms. Additionally all parameters related to the comfort are combined together in the overall comfort score (OCS).
In office buildings, acute building-related symptoms are evaluated by the Building Symptom Index (BSI) calculated on 5 or 8 symptoms (BSI5 and BSI8). In multi-apartment buildings acute building-related symptoms are evaluated by BSI calculated on 10 symptoms (BSI10).

The energy efficiency is evaluated by the total energy index as described before.

Phase 2 - detailed investigation

In order to validate and confirm the preliminary assessment performed by checklist, questionnaire and related evaluation tools, a set of measurements has to be performed. Since it is not convenient for several reasons (technical, economical) to perform measurements for all hazard considered in the HOPE project, a selection of measurements is needed. The proposed approach is as follows:

  1. For each environmental parameter, measurement is recommended or suggested if the related hazard has been assessed as present or possibly present by the checklist and questionnaire assessment (due to presence of pollution sources), as indicated in Table 15 and Table 16.
  2. Some hazards (i.e., CO very high representing risk of accident) identified in a preliminary assessment cannot have confirmation by measurement.

For each hazard, a criterion to plan environmental measurements has been developed

Phase 3 - building classification

The integration of preliminary assessment (from data collected by checklist and questionnaire) and environmental measurements performed, will lead to the final assessment of the building. Final classification is based on same criteria of preliminary classification.

An example for an office building is shown in the following table.

In this example preliminary health classification is category 3 (unhealthy building), but after the detailed investigation changes to category 1 (healthy building).