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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2021

Nurul Hayati Yong, Qi Jie Kwong, Kok Seng Ong and Dejan Mumovic

As suggested in many previous studies, good thermal comfort and indoor air quality (IAQ) played a significant role in ensuring human comfort, health and productivity in…

Abstract

Purpose

As suggested in many previous studies, good thermal comfort and indoor air quality (IAQ) played a significant role in ensuring human comfort, health and productivity in buildings. Hence, this study aims to evaluate the thermal comfort and IAQ conditions of open-plan office areas within a green-certified campus building through a post occupancy evaluation.

Design/methodology/approach

Using the field measurement method, environmental dataloggers were positioned at three office areas during office hours to measure the levels of thermal comfort parameters, CO2 concentrations and the supply air rates. At the same time, questionnaires were distributed to the available office staff to obtain their perception of the indoor environment. The findings were then compared with the recommended environmental comfort ranges and used to calculate the thermal comfort indices.

Findings

Results show that the physical parameters were generally within acceptable ranges of a local guideline. The neutral temperature based on the actual mean vote at these areas was 23.9°C, which is slightly lower than the predicted thermal neutrality of 25.2°C. From the surveyed findings, about 81% of the occupants found their thermal environment comfortable with high adaptation rates. A preference for cooler environments was found among the workers. Meanwhile, the air quality was perceived to be clean by a majority of the respondents, and the mean ventilation rate per person was identified to be sufficient.

Research limitations/implications

This study focussed on the thermal environment and air quality at selected office spaces only. More work should be carried out in other regularly occupied workplaces and study areas of the green educational building to allow a more thorough analysis of the indoor air conditions.

Practical implications

This paper highlights on the thermal comfort and air quality conditions of the air-conditioned office spaces in a green-certified campus building and is intended to assist the building services engineers in effective air conditioning control. The findings reported are useful for thermal comfort, IAQ and subsequently energy efficiency improvements in such building type where adjustments on the air temperature set-point can be considered according to the actual requirements. This study will be extended to other green campus spaces for a more exhaustive analysis of the indoor environment.

Originality/value

There is limited information pertaining to the environmental comfort levels in offices of green campus in the tropics. This study is, therefore, one of the earliest attempts to directly explore the thermal comfort and IAQ conditions in such workplace using both on-site physical measurement and questionnaire survey.

Details

Journal of Facilities Management , vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1472-5967

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2020

Farhana Mohd Zaini, Qi Jie Kwong and Lynne Barbara Jack

The demand for potable water increases with population growth, given its role in sustaining life. As part of a wider approach to ensuring sustainable provision, this has…

Abstract

Purpose

The demand for potable water increases with population growth, given its role in sustaining life. As part of a wider approach to ensuring sustainable provision, this has prompted a number of carefully formulated water efficiency improvement plans for buildings, one of the highest water-consuming sectors. This paper presents a detailed analysis of water efficiency potential for a multi-storey commercial complex and an office building in central Malaysia.

Design/methodology/approach

In this study, a detailed analysis of the water use and efficiency of the water fittings was carried out. Important data such as historical water use and details of water fittings were acquired during a field survey. A series of water flow rate tests were conducted at the selected buildings and each of the water systems was analysed separately, using the criteria of water efficiency stipulated by a locally applied green building tool. A comparison of water consumption before and after the improvement plan was then made.

Findings

Findings from the field surveys indicate that only some of the water fittings were certified with recognised efficiency ratings, which suggests a good opportunity for improvement. The proposed replacement of more-efficient fittings could potentially improve the obtainable green credit points by at least 10 from a maximum of 15. A cost–benefit analysis for a water fitting replacement scheme shows that the estimated payback period is less lengthy for the larger commercial building due to the higher potential savings.

Practical implications

Strategies for improvements in water efficiency for existing non-residential buildings are provided in this paper. The same water consumption analysis procedure can be used by maintenance engineers and other practitioners in building assessments where water efficiency and sustainability in building operation are of concern.

Originality/value

This case study responds to the need for efficient use of freshwater and provides insight into the water efficiency opportunities for commercial buildings. The potential cost savings for replacements of inefficient water fittings have been analysed using a green building tool as a guide. This has not been extensively analysed in previous studies.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 39 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2020

Qi Jie Kwong, Jim Yexin Yang, Oliver Hoon Leh Ling, Rodger Edwards and Jamalunlaili Abdullah

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the thermal environment of two engineering testing centres cooled via different means using computational fluid dynamics (CFD)…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the thermal environment of two engineering testing centres cooled via different means using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), focussing on the indoor temperature and air movement. This computational technique has been used in the analysis of thermal environment in buildings where the profiles of thermal comfort parameters, such as air temperature and velocity, are studied.

Design/methodology/approach

A pilot survey was conducted at two engineering testing centres – a passively cooled workshop and an air-conditioned laboratory. Electronic sensors were used in addition to building design documentation to collect the required information for the CFD model–based prediction of air temperature and velocity distribution patterns for the laboratory and workshop. In the models, both laboratory and workshop were presumed to be fully occupied. The predictions were then compared to empirical data that were obtained from field measurements. Operative temperature and predicted mean vote (PMV)–predicted percentage dissatisfied (PPD) indices were calculated in each case in order to predict thermal comfort levels.

Findings

The simulated results indicated that the mean air temperatures of 21.5°C and 32.4°C in the laboratory and workshop, respectively, were in excess of the recommended thermal comfort ranges specified in MS1525, a local energy efficiency guideline for non-residential buildings. However, air velocities above 0.3 m/s were predicted in the two testing facilities, which would be acceptable to most occupants. Based on the calculated PMV derived from the CFD predictions, the thermal sensation of users of the air-conditioned laboratory was predicted as −1.7 where a “slightly cool” thermal experience would prevail, but machinery operators in the workshop would find their thermal environment too warm with an overall sensation score of 2.4. A comparison of the simulated and empirical results showed that the air temperatures were in good agreement with a percentage of difference below 2%. However, the level of correlation was not replicated for the air velocity results, owing to uncertainties in the selected boundary conditions, which was due to limitations in the measuring instrumentation used.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the varying designs, the simulated results of this study are only applicable to laboratory and workshop facilities located in the tropics.

Practical implications

The results of this study will enable building services and air-conditioning engineers, especially those who are in charge of the air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation (ACMV) system design and maintenance to have a better understanding of the thermal environment and comfort conditions in the testing facilities, leading to a more effective technical and managerial planning for an optimised thermal comfort management. The method of this work can be extended to the development of CFD models for other testing facilities in educational institutions.

Social implications

The findings of this work are particularly useful for both industry and academia as the indoor environment of real engineering testing facilities were simulated and analysed. Students and staff in the higher educational institutions would benefit from the improved thermal comfort conditions in these facilities.

Originality/value

For the time being, CFD studies have been carried out to evaluate thermal comfort conditions in various building spaces. However, the information of thermal comfort in the engineering testing centres, of particular those in the hot–humid region are scantily available. The outcomes of this simulation work showed the usefulness of CFD in assisting the management of such facilities not only in the design of efficient ACMV systems but also in enhancing indoor thermal comfort.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

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Article
Publication date: 2 October 2018

Qi Jie Kwong, Jamalunlaili Abdullah, Sheng Chuan Tan, Tzer Hwai Gilbert Thio and Win Shyang Yeaw

Maintaining good indoor air quality (IAQ) in the built environment is essential to assure health, safety and productivity of occupants. The purpose of this paper is to…

Abstract

Purpose

Maintaining good indoor air quality (IAQ) in the built environment is essential to assure health, safety and productivity of occupants. The purpose of this paper is to report on the preliminary IAQ assessment of selected air-conditioned laboratories and naturally ventilated workshops in a tropical education institution.

Design/methodology/approach

The concentration levels of five major indoor air pollutants (IAPs) – carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, respirable particulates, formaldehyde (HCHO) and total volatile organic compounds (TVOC) in each sampling area were measured using calibrated air sampling sensors and the tracer-gas analysis was used to determine the ventilation effectiveness. A questionnaire survey was carried out concurrently to study the prevalence of sick building syndrome (SBS) among users of laboratories and workshops and the data collected were statistically analysed using χ2 test.

Findings

The air pollutant levels were found to be below the threshold limit values set in the local code of practice on IAQ, except for two of the air-conditioned laboratories. This is possibly due to insufficient ventilation, smaller floor area per occupant ratio, long-term exposure to chemical substances, and improper disposal of the used chemical substances. The total particulate levels were higher in naturally ventilated workshops because such spaces were assigned for mechanical works which involved grinding, welding and fabrication. Besides, it was identified that most of the air contaminant levels were not normally distributed (p<0.05) within the sampling areas and SBS like dry eyes, watery eyes, tiredness and dry throat were reported in both laboratories and workshops. The outcomes of this work suggest that an increase of ventilation rate was necessary to reduce the concentration of the IAPs in air-conditioned laboratories and improved housekeeping would help mitigate the prevalence of SBS symptoms.

Research limitations/implications

This research was carried out in selected laboratories and workshops in a Malaysian educational institution and only five major IAPs stipulated in the Department of Occupational Safety and Health (DOSH) code of practice were measured.

Practical implications

The results of this study will enable facility engineers and managers to understand the IAPs concentration levels and potential SBS problems in academic laboratories and workshops. The recommended strategies can be considered to improve IAQ conditions in such spaces.

Originality/value

Most of the previously conducted IAQ studies focused only on commonly occupied building spaces such as offices, classrooms and houses. Information of the quality of air and SBS conditions in experimental facilities in developing nations that is available is currently very limited. This case study provides detailed information on IAQ in laboratories and workshops in Malaysia with focuses on the concentration levels of particular harmful gases, the prevalence of SBS among users of these facilities and the appropriate mitigation strategies. The results presented are of value to both academic and industry communities.

Details

Management of Environmental Quality: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1477-7835

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Article
Publication date: 11 July 2016

Alfred Wong, Wei Lu, Dean Tjosvold and Jie Yang

Funding small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may be especially valuable in China to stimulate innovation and its emerging market economy. These firms have been…

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Abstract

Purpose

Funding small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) may be especially valuable in China to stimulate innovation and its emerging market economy. These firms have been advised to build on the Chinese value of guanxi to manage conflicts and develop relationships with banks. This study aims to explore the nature of relationships that help SMEs inform banks and convince them to provide credit.

Design/methodology/approach

As this study’s theorizing is about whether banks and firms that manage their conflicts for mutual benefit set the foundation for bank’s confidence in extending credit, therefore, both the bank officers and the company managers were asked to provide information for the study. In total, 106 pairs of bank officers in the loan department of four banks and SME managers in Shanghai, China, completed a questionnaire survey for this study.

Findings

Results support the argument that marketing research on customer orientation and organization behavior research on conflict management identify how to develop effective marketing relationships between SMEs and banks in China. Banks that were customer-oriented laid the groundwork for managing conflict cooperatively and not competitively with borrowing firms. Cooperative conflict management in turn was found to convince banks that they could confidently provide credit and to convince borrowers that their transaction costs will be reasonable.

Originality/value

This study identifies that developing guanxi and the capacity to manage conflict cooperatively are an important foundation for providing credit to SMEs in China.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2007

Denise Tsang

The purpose of this paper is to adopt a national cultural perspective to explore the issue of performance management in human resources among successful Chinese software…

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5077

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to adopt a national cultural perspective to explore the issue of performance management in human resources among successful Chinese software firms which are owned and led by their founders. The paper aims to highlight the unique characteristics of performance management that has emerged from a Confucian culture shaped by the socio‐economic model in post‐Second World War China.

Design/methodology/approach

Multiple case study of large‐medium‐small software firms using data collected from primary and secondary sources.

Findings

The basic tenet is that despite prevailing international best practice of performance management in the Chinese software industry, the success of indigenous firms is associated with entrepreneurial leaders who align their firms' performance management with the core cultural value of collectivism.

Research limitations/implications

The paper provides a unique insight into the influence of collectivism on the process of performance management in the human resources function.

Practical implications

There might be a fine balance between implanting global performance management practices and accentuating the strengths and capabilities of the local employees within the confines of China's long history and distinctive culture.

Originality/value

Since competitor and customer variables share similar characteristics across segments of the global software industry, the human resources that enable firms to generate competitive advantages in marketing and technology will be critical for success. This paper provides an important test of the relationship between core cultural value and performance management of a knowledge‐intensive sector.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 56 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

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