Objective and Subjective Indoor-Environmental Quality in Health Authority Office Facilities


Speakers:  Murray Hodgson, Ph.D. CEng FASA, Prof. of Acoustics, Director, Acoustics & Noise Research Group, Director, NSERC CREATE SBSP, SPPH and MECH,

Karen Bartlett, Prof. SPPH, Graduate Program Director for MSc OEH

Location: BC Hydro Theatre, CIRS building, 2260 West Mall

Date: April 30th, 2015. 1-2 PM


Health-authority facilities include many non-clinical office spaces for administrative workers; the role of indoor-environmental quality (IEQ) in occupants’ perceptions of these spaces has been underexplored. This seminar discusses a current study which assessed indoor-environmental (air, lighting, thermal, acoustical and ventilation) quality in 17 offices belonging to two local health authorities. The results were compared to design criteria to evaluate their acceptability. Physical results were examined according to the orientation and location of the spaces in the buildings, and to various design features such as office type (e.g., open plan vs private office). A subjective survey administered via an online questionnaire tool assessed office workers’ perceptions of their environments in general, and satisfaction with their working environments. Self-reported productivity, well-being, and health outcomes were also captured. Multiple regression was used to identify associations between the subjective outcomes, and which physical features are the strongest predictors of the subjective outcomes. The results are reported and discussed. Taken together, this knowledge will inform the decision-making of designers and facilities management for upgrades and future design projects. Because relatively few studies have examined these objective-subjective interrelations in health-authority office facilities, the project will also contribute to the literature on indoor-environmental quality and workplace satisfaction.



Dr. Bartlett is a Professor in the School of Population & Public Health, Occupational and Environmental Health Division, and the graduate program director for MSc OEH. She holds a Masters degree in Occupational Hygiene and a doctorate in Interdisciplinary Studies from the University of British Columbia. She received post-doctoral training in inhalation toxicology at the University of Iowa, School of Public Health. She is currently a co-investigator in the NSERC – CREATE Sustainable Building Sciences Program. She was a British Columbia Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research Scholar from 2002 – 2007, and was awarded a Killam graduate teaching prize in 2012.

Murray pic


Dr. Murray Hodgson is Professor of Acoustics in the School of Population & Public Health, and in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He is the Director of the Acoustics and Noise Research Group [hodgson-lab.mech.ubc.ca] and of the UBC NSERC CREATE Sustainable Building Science Program [sbsp.ubc.ca]. Dr. Hodgson graduated from Queen’s University with a B. Sc. (Hons) in Physics and Mathematics. He obtain-ed an M. Sc. in Sound and Vibration Studies and a Ph.D. in Acoustical Engineering from the Institute for Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR), University of Southampton, UK. He is a Chartered Engineer (CEng) with the UK Engineering Council and Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America.