Academic journal article Asian Social Science

The Architecture Studio of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM): Has the Indoor Environmental Quality Standard Been Achieved?

Academic journal article Asian Social Science

The Architecture Studio of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM): Has the Indoor Environmental Quality Standard Been Achieved?

Article excerpt


Studio-based learning is a shared learning environment in which ambiguous problems are addressed. This paper primarily focused on the lightings at the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM)'s architecture studio and to find out whether it had achieved the Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ). A good design, involving a space in a building, requires sufficient daylight in order to perform a task. This can be achieved by providing enough means to let in diffused light from the sky, yet keeping out direct light from the sun to prevent heat gain and glare. The purpose of this research was to identify the importance of the IEQ in creating conducive studio-based learning environment. The IEQ is crucial for a learning institution since indoor environment factors can actually affect human comfort, health and productivity. Lighting is most important to students as high-quality lighting will improve students' moods, behavior, concentration, and consequently, their learning. However, the effectiveness of learning in a studio cannot be fully achieved if the IEQ is being overlooked. Presently, artificial lights are being used most of the time in the UKM architecture studios in order to optimize students' vision and comfort. Using an equipment, named LM-8100, and supported by a questionnaire survey to gauge the lighting comfort level from the students' perspective, a lighting reading was taken for a duration of 10-hours for three days in the UKM third year architecture studio. The finding showed that the lighting setting is not within the range of the Malaysian Code of Practice on Indoor Air Quality (IAQ). However, the students have perceived it as normal and thus, the situation does not hinder them to stay long inside their studio. This situation will affect the students' ability to perceive visual stimuli in the short-term and health, in terms of students' vision, in the long run.

Keywords: IEQ, architecture studio, UKM, lighting

1. Introduction

Indoor Environmental Quality (IEQ) is important to the health, comfort, and well-being of the occupants in a building. The effect of poor IEQ can create the Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) symptom. For instance, headaches and fatigue are very common as are dry or irritated eyes, skin irritation, sinus infections, or nasal congestion, nausea, respiratory irritation, and allergies. There are various aspects of the indoor environment that can affect the occupant's well-being and performance (Prakash, 2005). Although there has been no scientific proof made in relation to an occupant's performance and competence due to the indoor environmental quality, the quality of the indoor environment has, generally, affected the occupant's health. Work productivity may be interrupted as a result of bad health and bad physical condition (Kamaruzzaman & Sabrani, 2011).

When discussing the IEQ, there are several factors influencing good indoor environment. Qualities as of thermal comfort, lighting, acoustical, as well as, air in a room are important factors influencing the IEQ (Bluyssen, 2009; Dascalaki, Gaglia, Balaras and Lagoudi, 2008; Mahbob et al., 2011). In this research, the IEQ of Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) Architecture Studio was analysed and the focus was on the lighting quality and thermal comfort.

2. Lighting Quality

Lighting plays a very important part in our life. Lighting is one of the parameters that influence IEQ. Before the 1940s, daylight was the primary light source in buildings; with artificial lights supplementing the natural light. In a short span of 20 years, electric lighting transformed a workplace by meeting most or all the occupants' lighting requirements (Edwards & Torcellini, 2002). According to Dr. Ott (Ott Biolight Systems Inc., 1997), the body uses light as a nutrient for metabolic processes similar to water or food. On a cloudy day or under poor lighting conditions, the inability to perceive colours from the light can affect our mood and energy level. …

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