Traditionally, less focus has been given to comfort evaluations in residential buildings compared to commercial buildings. Despite having an increased level of control relative to offices, occupants can still experience health and comfort issues in their residences due to poor environmental conditions which can result in adaptations that may increase energy consumption in buildings. Consequently, there have been more studies which evaluate factors that affect occupant comfort and health in residential buildings in recent years. As high-rise multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) become more ubiquitous in cities globally, researchers have also started to look at factors that affect occupants' comfort in MURBs. In this paper, a critical review of studies which investigated occupant comfort in MURBs in relation to environmental and non-environmental variables that could have a potential impact on comfort is presented. Various approaches used in assessing occupant comfort are compared, the factors which are important determinants of occupant comfort in MURBs are presented, and the gaps in the literature are identified. Findings of this review show that, in addition to indoor environmental conditions, occupants’ characteristics, building-related characteristics and the outdoor environment can significantly affect occupant comfort in MURBs. The identified gaps include a limited assessment of the impact of non-thermal related environmental conditions on comfort and the impact of non-environmental related conditions, as well as a limited number of studies on health and productivity. Based on these findings, the paper includes recommendations on research design and methodologies for future occupant comfort studies in MURBs.

Indoor environment quality, Multi-unit residence, Occupant comfort, Occupant satisfaction
Building and Environment
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Andargie, M.S. (Maedot S.), Touchie, M. (Marianne), & O'Brien, W. (2019). A review of factors affecting occupant comfort in multi-unit residential buildings. Building and Environment (Vol. 160). doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.106182