Understanding thermal comfort perception of nurses in a hospital ward workenvironment

Authors Manon Derks , Asit Kumar Mishra , Marcel Loomans , Helianthe Kort
Published in Building and Environment
Publication date 2018
Research groups Technology for Healthcare Innovations
Type Article


In indoor comfort research, thermal comfort of care-professionals in hospital environment is a little explored topic. To address this gap, a mixed methods study, with the nursing staff in hospital wards acting as participants,was undertaken. Responses were collected during three weeks in the summer (n = 89), and four weeks in the autumn (n = 43). Analysis of the subjective feedback from nurses and the measured indoor thermal conditions revealed that the existent thermal conditions (varying between 20 and 25 °C) caused a slightly warm thermal sensation on the ASHRAE seven point scale. This led to a slightly unacceptable thermal comfort and a slightly obstructed self-appraised work performance. The results also indicated that the optimal thermal sensation for the nurses—suiting their thermal comfort requirements and work performance—would be closer to‘slightly cool’than neutral. Using a design approach of dividing the hospital ward into separate thermal zones, with different set-points for respectively patient and care-professionals’comfort, would seem to be the ideal solution that contributes positively to the work environment and, at the same time, creates avenues for energy conservation.

On this publication contributed

  • Helianthe Kort | Professor | Research group Technology for Healthcare Innovations
    Helianthe Kort
    • Professor
    • Research group: Technology for Healthcare Innovations

Language English
Published in Building and Environment
Key words nursing staff, work performance, hospitals, thermal comfort, thermal zones
Digital Object Identifier https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2018.05.039
Page range 119-127

Technology for Healthcare Innovations