Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/29104
Title: Risks of unsatisfactory airborne bacteria level in air-conditioned offices of subtropical climates
Authors: Mui, KW 
Wong, LT 
Hui, PS
Keywords: Air-conditioned offices
Airborne bacteria level
Humidity
Temperature
Issue Date: 2008
Publisher: Pergamon Press
Source: Building and environment, 2008, v. 43, no. 4, p. 475-479 How to cite?
Journal: Building and environment 
Abstract: Adjustment of the indoor air temperature and relative humidity set points for energy conservation is adopted in many air-conditioned offices in the subtropics. This study examines the environmental risks in an air-conditioned office with a 'readjusted' thermal environment from the perspective of the probable airborne bacteria level exceeding certain limits. In particular, a cross-sectional study of bacteria concentrations in 422 air-conditioned offices in Hong Kong was conducted, and a mathematical expression was proposed to correlate the indoor bacteria level with the indoor air temperature and relative humidity in an air-conditioned office. With the proposed correlation, the probability of an air-conditioned office having an unsatisfactory airborne bacteria level could be determined. The model results were verified with the measurement results from some other studies. This model would be a useful tool for preliminary assessment of the environmental risks, regarding the airborne bacteria level while balancing some energy conservation measures, in an air-conditioned office in the subtropics. The study also provides a template for developing an environmental risk assessment model in air-conditioned spaces elsewhere.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/29104
ISSN: 0360-1323
EISSN: 1873-684X
DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2007.01.012
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