Laboratory Approaches to Studying Occupants

  • Andreas Wagner
  • Rune Korsholm Andersen
  • Hui Zhang
  • Richard de Dear
  • Marcel Schweiker
  • Edwin Goh
  • Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt
  • Rita Streblow
  • Francesco Goia
  • Sumee Park


Laboratories offer the possibility to study occupant behavior in a very detailed manner. A wide range of indoor environmental scenarios can be simulated under precisely controlled conditions, and human subjects can be selected based on pre-defined criteria. The degree of control over experiments is high and a large number of physical, physiological, and psychological quantities can be monitored. This chapter gives an overview of various types of test facilities in the world and their main features in terms of experimental opportunities. It then presents typical technical equipment and sensor technologies used in laboratory environments. Finally, questions on appropriate laboratory design and experimental set-ups are discussed. One conclusion is that, in spite of many advantages, there are limits to investigating occupant behavior in a laboratory’s “artificial” environment, in part due to the fact that subjects always feel observed to some extent. However, valuable results can be achieved if the specific opportunities of laboratories are utilized both by appropriate design and precise experiments during operation.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Andreas Wagner
    • 1
  • Rune Korsholm Andersen
    • 2
  • Hui Zhang
    • 3
  • Richard de Dear
    • 4
  • Marcel Schweiker
    • 5
  • Edwin Goh
    • 6
  • Wouter van Marken Lichtenbelt
    • 7
  • Rita Streblow
    • 8
  • Francesco Goia
    • 9
  • Sumee Park
    • 10
  1. 1.Building Science Group, Faculty of ArchitectureKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  2. 2.Department of Civil EngineeringTechnical University of DenmarkKongens LyngbyDenmark
  3. 3.Center for the Built EnvironmentUniversity of CaliforniaCAUSA
  4. 4.Indoor Environmental Quality Laboratory, School of Architecture, Design and PlanningThe University of SydneySydneyAustralia
  5. 5.Building Science Group, Faculty of ArchitectureKarlsruhe Institute of TechnologyKarlsruheGermany
  6. 6.Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore LimitedSingaporeSingapore
  7. 7.Department of Human Biology and Human Movement SciencesNUTRIM School for Nutrition and Translational Research in Metabolism, Maastricht University Medical Center+MaastrichtThe Netherlands
  8. 8.Institute for Energy Efficient Buildings and Indoor Climate, E.ON Energy Research CenterRWTH Aachen UniversityAachenGermany
  9. 9.Department of Architecture and Technology, Faculty of Architecture and DesignNorwegian University of Science and TechnologyTrondheimNorway
  10. 10.Department of Energy Efficiency and Indoor ClimateFraunhofer Institute for Building PhysicsValleyGermany

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