Workers’ sensation, comfort for indoor environments in offices prior and subsequent to the earthquake -through the experience of the Great East Japan earthquake in 2011-

Kei Utsumi, Sayana Tsushima, Shinichi Tanabe

    Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


    The Great East Japan Earthquake occurred on March 11, 2011 and caused a critical power shortage in a large area including Tokyo. Therefore, many offices implemented measures to save electricity, but previous research has shown that reduction in comfort and productivity occurred during the operation to save electricity. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of having experienced the earthquake on office workers’ sensation and comfort. Office workers from 21 office buildings completed 58 field surveys between 2003 and 2013, the results of which were analyzed. Results showed that, prior to the earthquake and in quake year, there was reduction in mean thermal satisfaction with SET* above 27°C, unlike those observed consequent to the earthquake. With respect to visual environment, there were no significant relationships between satisfaction and illuminance. Therefore, low illuminance was an effective means of saving energy while considering workers’ psychological wellbeing. Results of the analysis indicated that workers’ ranges of comfort were as follows: pre-quake: 25.3–26.1, quake year: 23.0–26.6, and post-quake: 20.8–27.4. Therefore, the range of workers’ comfort expanded subsequent to the earthquake, due to changes in their emotions regarding indoor environment quality in thermal environment.

    Original languageEnglish
    Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 1
    EventHealthy Buildings Europe 2015, HB 2015 - Eindhoven, Netherlands
    Duration: 2015 May 182015 May 20


    OtherHealthy Buildings Europe 2015, HB 2015



    • Earthquake
    • Field survey
    • Indoor environment
    • Office Worker
    • Range of comfort

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Civil and Structural Engineering

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