Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) in commercial buildings, such as retail stores, can affect employee satisfaction, productivity, and health. This study administered an IEQ survey to retail employees and found correlations between measured IEQ parameters and the survey responses. The survey included 611 employees in 14 retail stores located in Pennsylvania (climate zone 5A) and Texas (climate zone 2A). The survey questionnaire featured ratings of different aspects of IEQ, including thermal comfort, lighting and noise level, indoor smells, overall cleanness, and environmental quality. Simultaneously with the survey, on-site physical measurements were taken to collect data of relative humidity levels, air exchange rates, dry bulb temperatures, and contaminant concentrations. This data was analyzed using multinomial logit regression with independent variables being the measured IEQ parameters, employees' gender, and age. This study found that employee perception of stuffy smells is related to formaldehyde and PM10 concentrations. Furthermore, the survey also asked the employees to report an annual frequency of common colds as a health indicator. The regression analysis showed that the cold frequency statistically correlates with the measured air exchange rates, outdoor temperatures, and indoor PM2.5 concentrations. Overall, the air exchange rate is the most influential parameter on the employee perception of the overall environmental quality and self-reported health outcome.
Building and Environment – Elsevier
Published: Nov 1, 2015
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