Category: Indoor Environment

Performance of Tubular Daylighting Devices

Tubular daylighting devices (TDDs) can economically admit natural light into areas of buildings that do not have windows or skylights. This Update outlines the features and characteristics of TDDs and presents research findings that will improve the ability of manufacturers to design and rate their products. It will also help specifiers select best-performing products for particular locations and installation geometries.

Demand-Responsive Commercial Buildings

To reduce the electrical generation required to meet peak demands and maintain grid stability, utilities are implementing policies and mechanisms to lower usage during peak periods. This Update discusses one strategy known as demand response, whereby customers get direct requests from the utility to temporarily lower usage during periods of very high demand.

Performance of Solar Shading Devices

This Update describes results of research on several types of window shading devices and their potential to reduce heating and cooling energy consumption and improve conditions that affect occupant comfort. The information provides guidance in the selection of shading devices for particular housing types and energy cost situations.

Airborne Sound Insulation in Multi-Family Buildings

This Update explains how an emphasis on system performance can achieve good sound insulation in multi-family buildings in a cost-effective manner. It reviews the concepts and terminology used to describe sound insulation for the complete building system, and presents research results that illustrate how typical wood-frame construction details can determine the sound insulation actually achieved.

Indoor Air Quality and Thermal Comfort in Open-Plan Offices

Providing good indoor air quality (IAQ) and thermal comfort is important for employee satisfaction, well-being and performance. This Update provides guidance on key issues for achieving adequate indoor air quality and thermal comfort in open-plan offices, based on current standards and research conducted by NRC’s Institute for Research in Construction and others.

Acoustical Design for Open-Plan Offices

This Update discusses how to achieve acceptable acoustical privacy in open-plan offices. The information is derived from current best practice and the results of research carried out by NRC’s Institute for Research in Construction.

Workstation Design for the Open-Plan Office

Well-designed workstations in an open-plan office will assure a comfortable, satisfying working environment for occupants. This Update reviews some of the key design issues and provides guidance for achieving a successful outcome, based on research conducted at NRC’s Institute for Research in Construction and elsewhere.

Lighting Design for Open-Plan Offices

Good office lighting is a key element in assuring worker satisfaction and performance. This Update provides guidance on lighting design for open-plan offices based on current best practice and the results of research conducted by NRC’s Institute for Research in Construction.

Acoustical Design of Rooms for Speech

This Update explains the acoustical requirements conducive to relaxed and accurate speech communication in rooms and gives design criteria for a wide range of room sizes. Some special issues for particular types of rooms and special groups of listeners are discussed.