John Libbey Eurotext

Environnement, Risques & Santé


Perception of indoor air quality, comfort, and health in new and retrofitted offices, and their relations with building characteristics. Analysis of the French data from the OFFICAIR project, Part 1 Volume 16, issue 6, November-December 2017


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1 Université Paris-Est / Centre scientifique et technique du bâtiment (CSTB)
84, avenue Jean Jaurès
77447 Champs-sur-Marne
Cedex 02
2 BBA Binnenmilieu
P.O. Box 370
2501 CJ The Hague
The Netherlands
3 Delft University of Technology
Department of architectural engineering & technology
Section climate design, Chair of indoor environment
P.O. Box 5043
2600 GA Delft
The Netherlands
4 University of Milan
Department of biomedical and clinical sciences
Via G. B. Grass
20157 Milan
* Tirés à part
  • Key words: indoor environment quality, perception, sick building syndrome, building related symptoms
  • DOI : 10.1684/ers.2017.1095
  • Page(s) : 553-64
  • Published in: 2017

The OFFICAIR project aimed to describe comfort and indoor air quality in new and retrofitted office buildings in Europe. This article reports the perceived comfort and health, as well as their relations with building characteristics, in the 21 participating office buildings in France. Occupant perception and personal information were collected through an online questionnaire. In parallel, a building audit was performed to describe each building. The survey took place between January and April 2012 over two weeks in each building.

Among the 1,190 respondents, 54% were dissatisfied with the noise from the other occupants, 48% with dry air, and 46% with stuffy air. The most common health symptoms attributed to the building were headaches (31% of the respondents), dry eyes (27%), irritated eyes (21%) and a dry or sore throat (21%). No difference was observed between the French buildings and the European sample (167 buildings, 7,441 respondents). The perceived indoor environment and related health symptoms seemed similar to those reported in past studies. The multilevel linear regressions highlight the major influence of the individual parameters on both indoor air quality and comfort perception, as well as on PSI-5 (number of building-related symptoms across five symptoms defining the sick building syndrome). Occupants who could control their indoor environment had better perceptions. Similarly, an efficient procedure for managing building-related complaints was associated with better perceptions of indoor air quality and comfort and with fewer building-related health effects.