Occupants' satisfaction with, and physical readings of, thermal, acoustic, and lighting conditions of sustainable office workspaces

Kara Freihoefer, Denise Guerin, Caren S Martin, Hye-Young Kim, Jonee K Brigham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to investigate indoor environmental quality (IEQ) components of thermal, acoustic, and lighting conditions in a building compliant with sustainable guidelines through findings from a post-occupancy questionnaire and on-site readings. This study (1) identified thermal, acoustic, and lighting conditions that significantly affected occupant satisfaction with their office workspace and (2) determined if the required IEQ guideline standards correlate to occupants' satisfaction. Questionnaire results did indicate occupants' satisfaction with overall thermal conditions (OTC) and overall acoustic condition (OAC) was significantly different than their satisfaction with the overall physical environment. The thermal conditions multiple regression model indicated that temperature, air velocity, and humidity were contributing attributes of occupants' OTC satisfaction. Furthermore, all acoustic attributes were found as significant contributors to OAC satisfaction in the acoustic conditions model, except for the ability to limit distraction for undesired sounds. The average physical readings of thermal, acoustic, and lighting conditions taken in selected workspaces did meet the guidelines required standards. Although some conditions of the environment were not as satisfying for occupants as others. Further analyses also indicated occupants' satisfaction levels with the conditions varied significantly between workspace types (open and closed). Interior designers must understand that designing according to sustainable guidelines does not always create a satisfying physical environment for occupants.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)457-472
Number of pages16
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 19 2015


  • Acoustic conditions
  • Lighting conditions
  • Multi-tenant
  • Physical readings
  • Satisfaction
  • Thermal conditions
  • Workspaces


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