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Title: The effects of indoor temperature and CO2 levels as an indicator for ventilation rates on cognitive performance of adult female students in Saudi Arabia
Author: Gaber Ahmed, Riham Mohammed
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 0232
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2017
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Educational buildings are complex spaces to design, as they need to perform well in all aspects of environmental conditions. Research has clearly established that problems with indoor environmental quality in classrooms, including, but not limited to, thermal and air quality, can directly influence students’ outcomes and learning. There is a growing body of evidence that improved environmental conditions in classrooms increases productivity and improves the performance of mental tasks, such as improved concentration and recall. It is of particular importance to investigate the effects in educational buildings relying on mechanical for ventilation and cooling in the hot desert climates like Saudi Arabia where great reliance on air conditioners occurs, especially after energy has become cheap and affordable. An experimental approach was adopted in this study via an intervention study in a selected female university building to investigate the effects of classrooms’ temperature and CO2 levels on a set of vigilance and memory tasks exemplifying the basic yet most critically important functions involved in the process of learning. The experiments were performed using a blind cross-over design with repeated-measures. Data analysis was performed using a multi-variable multilevel statistical analysis approach. The study is based on two classrooms’ physical environmental measurements data collected from 499 adult female participants. After considering the possible confounders of the study, the main findings highlight the potential benefits of effectively managing indoor temperature and CO2 levels in the air-conditioned university/college buildings in Saudi Arabia for improved educational environments in which students are expected to learn and produce. The research concludes that temperature affects the accuracy of tasks differently according to the type of task while performance in all tasks improved significantly when CO2 levels decreased from 1800 ppm to 600 ppm and also from the currently recommended levels by ASHRAE of 1000 ppm to 600 ppm.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available