Assessment of Monitoring Strategies for Inhalation Exposure and Occupancy in Office Environments

Seoyeon Yun (Human-Oriented Built Environment Lab, EPFL) has successfully presented the private defense of her PhD thesis: "Assessment of Monitoring Strategies for Inhalation Exposure and Occupancy in Office Environments". This research was conducted under the supervision of Prof. Dusan Licina, Head of HOBEL, EPFL. The public defense will take place on Friday, 27 October 2023, at 17:00 at the Smart Living Lab in Fribourg (room HBL0 21A). Link for online streaming on demand.

Given people's significant time spent indoors, ensuring good indoor air quality (IAQ) is essential because it significantly influences occupants' health and productivity. Office buildings consume about 50% of commercial building energy and 18% of total building stock, with HVAC systems contributing around 40% of the energy consumption. Despite the advent of low-cost smart building sensors, there is a lack of guidelines for optimal IAQ monitoring strategies particularly in offices with dynamically changing occupancy. This thesis investigates three research topics: 1) proxy methods for inhalation exposure assessment, 2) optimal air pollution sensor placement which captures inhalation exposures, and 3) sets of indicators for air inhalation exposure and occupancy detection in office environments.

The thesis proposes optimizing solutions for exposure and occupancy detection with smart building sensors under various office setups and occupancy scenarios. The findings could find application in enhancing IAQ management and occupant-centric HVAC control through integrated smart monitoring techniques that can be used in real-life occupancy conditions.

Seoyeon Yun

Seoyeon Yun is a PhD candidate at EPFL after getting her MSc/BSc at Yonsei University in South Korea. During her MSc, she developed passenger thermal comfort models in a vehicle under a collaborative project with Hyundai Motor Company. During her PhD study, she focused on assessing monitoring solutions in offices that leverage occupant-centric building HVAC control for improving indoor air quality, human health, and well-being in collaboration with Honeywell Building Technologies.