The effect of air-conditioning on worker productivity in office buildings: A case study in Thailand
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This paper presents findings from a study of the impact of indoor thermal conditions on the productivity of office workers in Thailand. The experiment simulating office working conditions was carried out with a completely randomized design under a variety of indoor thermal conditions over different time periods. In the experiment, subjects performed five simulated tasks: calculation, typing, proof-reading, simple quick reaction, and concentration-needed reaction. Normalized changes in worker productivity associated with those five tasks were measured and analyzed using the analysis of variance technique. In this study, the ranges of thermal conditions resulting in the greatest productivity were calculated by the predicted mean votes (PMVs). The results of this study suggest that the general appropriate PMV value recommended by ISO 7730 is suitable for Thais only in afternoon and evening periods. In addition, it was found that a satisfactory thermal comfort condition for office workers can be achieved by setting the temperatures of air-conditioning systems at 26 °C–28 °C for morning periods and at 24.5 °C–26 °C for afternoon and evening periods. These ranges of temperature settings help maintain and improve the productivity of office workers during morning, afternoon, and evening periods by 18%, 1% to 15%, and 7%, respectively.
Keywordsproductivity thermal condition predicted mean vote (PMV) office work simulation energy conservation design of experiment
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