A fundamental challenge in assessing thermal comfort in health care settings is providing comfortable conditions for the diverse medical services and concurrent occupancy groups. Thermal comfort standards rely on thermal comfort models to predict thermal conditions in spaces that are satisfactory for human occupancy. However, thermal comfort standards and models have not been developed from experimental or field data in health care settings or with health-care-specific concerns in mind; therefore, their validity to assist in environmental health care design has been questioned. This study is motivated by the practical concerns with using thermal comfort models to assist in the design of HVAC systems for health care facilities.
The ASHRAE thermal comfort standard (ASHRAE 2017a) requires a set of environmental and personal factors that depend onthe occupants’ activity levels and clothing insulation. Outlined in this study are the challenges in providing thermal comfort in rooms with patients and medical staff with varying activity levels and clothing insulation. Other challenges explored include looking at activity levels that are near or above the research that was used to develop the comfort models and the lack of insulation values for the clothing required to be worn by some medical personnel. This study also reviews the complexity and diversity of patients, their levels of health, and the care they are receiving relative to the assessment of thermal comfort. A final complexity discussed is applying the steady-state thermal comfort models to the transient nature of occupants in health care facilities.
A literature review of thermal comfort research in health care settings is discussed and summarized. The focus has been on hospitals in general, with some studies on operating and patient rooms. A general conclusion points to patients being more tolerant of indoor conditions than predicted by the thermal comfort models and, generally, patients are more accepting of higher temperatures than the staff. The studies reviewed demonstrate that thermal comfort models can be applied with caution to rooms that serve medical staff and healthy patients—patients that are healthy in terms of thermal sensation and regulation.
This paper exposes increased complexities in addressing thermal comfort in health care settings and concludes that given the critical nature of health care facilities, as well as the levels of occupant diversity and specialization, increased detail and attention to individualities are needed. The paper also reveals a lack of personal and environmental data to enable reliable thermal comfort assessments., Peer reviewed, Conference proceeding, Published., ASHRAE thermal comfort standard, Thermal comfort, HVAC systems
Renewable technologies such as solar or wind generation are favoured by many people concerned about the environmental and safety consequences of continued reliance on fossil-fuelled and nuclear generation. This paper focuses on two features of a societal move to renewable energy generation: their land area requirements, and the energy storage required to deliver energy services when wind and solar fluxes are inadequate.
We use the IESVic Energy System Model to estimate the minimum land area and energy storage requirements for wind and solar photovoltaic generation to meet the entire 2000 US electrical demand. We model 13 locations for solar generation and 11 for wind, both singly and in various combinations, over several years of hourly climate data, and find that solar and wind generation facilities would require minimum land areas of 41,000 km2 and 193,000 km2 respectively. The smallest photovoltaic system requires storage equivalent to 76 days of average demand, while 108 days are required for wind. The generating area required by the smallest wind system is comparable to the total urbanized area of the contiguous United States, without considering land requirements for resource extraction, transmission, waste disposal, and energy storage., Article
Proceedings of Previous work on a reaction-diffusion model of a 4-gene regulatory network governing insect segmentation characterized the dynamical basis of robustness to perturbations in this system [1,2]. Here, we computationally study system behavior near bifurcation points corresponding to weak-allele mutant embryos (i.e. with altered gene regulation). Our computations suggest that the variable expressivity and incomplete penetrance observed in some gene mutations may stem from response of the dynamical system to variable input (regulatory genes) near such bifurcation points., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received: 14 April 2012; Accepted: 2 October 2012.
American elderberries are commonly collected from wild plants for use as food and medicinal products. The degree of phytochemical variation among wild populations has not been established and might affect the overall quality of elderberry dietary supplements. The three major flavonols identified in elderberries are rutin, quercetin and isoquercetin. Variation in the flavonols and chlorogenic acid was determined for 107 collections of elderberries from throughout the eastern United States using an optimized high performance liquid chromatography with ultraviolet detection method. The mean content was 71.9 mg per 100 g fresh weight with variation ranging from 7.0 to 209.7 mg per 100 g fresh weight within the collected population. Elderberries collected from southeastern regions had significantly higher contents in comparison with those in more northern regions. The variability of the individual flavonol and chlorogenic acid profiles of the berries was complex and likely influenced by multiple factors. Several outliers were identified based on unique phytochemical profiles in comparison with average populations. This is the first study to determine the inherent variability of American elderberries from wild collections and can be used to identify potential new cultivars that may produce fruits of unique or high-quality phytochemical content for the food and dietary supplement industries., Peer-reviewed article, Published. Received 16 April 2015; Revised 29 October 2015; Accepted 20 December 2015; Available online 23 December 2015.
Proceedings of Second International Building Physics Conference: 14 September 2003, Leuven, Belgium. A systematic investigation of the hygrothermal properties of a number of oriented strand boards, plywood products, wood fibreboards and composite wood sidings has resulted in new information on the variations of thermal conductivity, water vapour permeability, moisture diffusivity, sorption- desorption-suction isotherms, water absorption coefficient and air permeability of these classes of products in North America. The experimental and analytical procedures used in the investigation are all based eitheron International Standards or on well-documented and peer-reviewed approaches. This paper presents the description of the products in each category and detailed information on the range of properties. The details include, density and temperature dependences of thermal conductivity,dependence of vapour resistance factor on relative humidity, dependence of moisture diffusivity on moisture concentration, equilibrium moisture content for the full range of relative humidity, variations in the water absorption coefficients and dependence of air permeability on pressure difference., Conference paper, Published. A version of this document is published in: Research in Building Physics, Leuven, Belgium, Sept. 14-18, 2003, pp. 35-42.
The hygrothermal performance of building envelope systems is dictated by their responses to combined heat, air and moisture fluctuations produced by exterior and interior conditions. Research has focused on both laboratory experimentation and modeling of envelope systems by computer programs (hygrothermal tools). Experimental studies played a crucial role in the development of hygrothermal tools, and continue to offer useful information for their improvement. To be used with confidence, however, hygrothermal tools must be verified and, if possible, validated. To date, no comprehensive schemes for benchmarking hygrothermal tools exist as, for example, exist for energy simulation tools. Three comparisons are typically used to show the practical merits of simulation tools: inter-model, analytical, and empirical. This paper demonstrates how confidence in a 1-dimensional hygrothermal simulation tool can be built by such comparisons, and proposes them as the basis for a verification and validation methodology., Research report, Published.
Despite understanding the need to become sustainable, and knowing some of the actions required to reach this end, barriers exist that prevent individuals, and society, from adopting actions that support sustainability. To understand what some of these barriers are, the case of Vancouver's attempt to implement the 1990 Clouds of Change recommendations has been analysed. Councillors, civic staff, Task Force on Atmospheric Change members and citizens who participated in the Task Force's public participation process were asked to identify what they perceived as the barriers to action-taking by the City to implement the recommendations. Fifty-eight people were interviewed. The barriers identified fell within three categories: Perceptual/Behavioural, Institutional/Structural and Economic/Financial. Analysis reveals how the barriers functioned, which ones were perceived as causing the greatest impediment to implementation of the recommendations, what conditions facilitated implementation of some recommendations, and suggestions regarding how some barriers may be overcome in the future. The six most commonly cited barriers were: lack of understanding about the issues, perceived lack of empowerment, competing issues, inadequate funds, fear of losing constituent support and limitation of jurisdiction. Other important barriers were: differences in perception, inappropriate structure of government (vertical), weak linkages among the policies of civic and senior levels of government and weak communication linkages between government and its constituents. Many of the barriers identified contributed to a low degree of civic participation in the City. Suggestions for improving government effectiveness, in terms of its ability to implement the Clouds of Change recommendations focussed on ways of improving civic participation among citizens. Suggestions regarding the amendment of government structures and decision-making processes are also presented., Thesis, Published.
This double-blind randomized controlled trial offers evidence that flexible energy storage return (ESR) feet produce lower peak moments during walking and are preferred by trans-tibial amputees., Research report, Published.