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Abstract

With growing popularity of green building rating systems, LEED and GSAS projects are becoming a building industry standard in Qatar. Furthermore, more projects targeting higher rating in green building certification has become a trend. A large number of green buildings have been focused on in terms of energy and water efficiency, where a high level of certification can be achieved and their performance can be easily translated and expressed into numeric terms. Media tends to highlight efficiencies in green buildings that are broadcasted as high-performance buildings. Although non-quantifiable benefits of green buildings such as enhanced occupant's productivity, health and comfort are equally important, emphasis on human factor has drawn relatively less attention to the green building design process. Considering the significance of cost incurred for building occupants in facility operation, worker's wages and expenses are much higher than the utility cost or any other operation costs. Especially, low energy and water tariffs in Qatar actually lower financial feasibility of high energy and water performance green buildings than those in other countries. In addition, due to hot weather conditions in Qatar, people spend more hours indoor than outdoor compared with other climate zone countries. In this regard, building occupant's health and comfort should be more importantly treated in the context of green building in Qatar. According to a study on Qatari public health, a large percentage of students in Qatar experience allergic diseases (asthma, allergic rhinitis and eczema) and communicable diseases (influenza and hepatitis). Such diseases result in absenteeism and poor academic performance. Knowing that Doha was ranked the 12th worst ambient air quality in fine particles by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2014, prevalence of such diseases indicates that indoor environment is not sufficiently protected from polluted outdoor conditions. The diseases eventually burden the national healthcare cost to attend patients and potentially deteriorate Qatari businesses as well as education performance resulted from high absenteeism. This paper aims to first understand the level of the occupant's satisfaction in indoor air quality and thermal comfort based on a survey questionnaire for typical operating buildings in Qatar, and strives to find the correlation between indoor environment quality in Qatari buildings and locally prevalent allergic and communicable diseases. The study finally aims to determine the root causes of health-related indoor environmental quality issues and to suggest improvements in design, construction and operation of a green building implementation.

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/content/papers/10.5339/qproc.2016.qgbc.21
2016-11-09
2019-11-13
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