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