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IEQ Lab
Infrastructure_

Indoor Environmental Quality Lab

The only laboratory of its kind in the southern hemisphere
The Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) Lab is a unique facility in which the building research community and the broader construction sector can study how multiple factors combine to affect human comfort, productivity and health.

Lab facilities

Our facility consists of two purpose-built climate chambers (Lab 1 and Lab 2) in which all indoor environmental parameters can be precisely controlled or transitioned across a broad range of values, in any combination. This occurs while a sample of building occupants (subjects) go about typical daily activities for an exposure time (usually a few hours per experiment), while registering their subjective impressions (eg, quality ratings on comfort, symptoms, wellbeing ratings via questionnaire) or some other response metric such as cognitive performance.

The two lab chambers have the following capabilities:

  • realistic simulation of residential, industrial, retail, leisure, cinema, aircraft and vehicular noise
  • interiors that can be configures to resemble a grade-A commercial office space, residential, classroom, vehicular cabin, or sleeping environments
  • a perimeter zone adjacent to an ‘environmental corridor’ able to simulate ‘sun’ lighting and a wide range of ‘outdoor’ ambient conditions and temperatures
  • choice of Variable Air Volume (VAV), Constant Air Volume (CAV), and Under Floor Air Distribution (UFAD) air conditioning system in Lab Chamber 1
  • options for natural cross- ventilation through windows and natural day-lighting in Lab Chamber 1
  • choice of active chilled beam, passive chilled beam, and Under Floor Air Distribution (UFAD) air conditioning system in Lab Chamber 2
  • a state-of-the-art Building Management System (BMS) to program indoor and outdoor conditions.

 

The full-sized female thermal manikin (named ‘Laura Palmer’) consists of 22 separate body segments, each of which has a precisely controlled skin temperature coupled with its own precision power supply. The manikin is useful for detailed analysis of human heat balance (especially convection, radiation and conduction processes), complex thermal environments, local thermal discomfort, and precise measurement of the thermal insulation of clothing garments, ensembles and bedding materials.

An autonomous and mobile IEQ data acquisition system comprising:

  • three arrays (0.1m, 0.6m and 1.1m above floor level) of thermal comfort sensors including air and radiant temperature, humidity and air speed
  • a suite of Indoor Air Quality (IAQ) sensors including formaldehyde and TVOC, oxygen, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide
  • sound pressure level
  • horizontal illuminance

A fleet of 260 stationary desktop IEQ monitoring devices with real-time output to a web-based dashboard. Each SAMBA device comprises sensors for:

  • thermal comfort (air temperature, mean radiant temperature, air speed, humidity)
  • indoor air quality (formaldehyde, TVOC, PM10 particulate concentration, CO2 and CO)
  • sound pressure level (dBA)
  • horizontal illuminance.