To study the combined effect of different environmental factors on children in a classroom setting, 250 children from seven primary schools were exposed to 36 different environmental configurations (‘all’ and ‘fewer’ acoustical panels; ‘displacement’ and ‘mixing’ ventilation; sound type: ‘children talk’, ‘traffic’, and ‘none’; and ‘direct’, ‘indirect’ and ‘soft’ lighting). In a four-way factorial design, they assessed with 18 groups on eight different days temperature, draught, noise, light and smell. Correlation, three-way ANOVA, comparison tests and multi-regression analysis were used to analyse relationships, and main, cross-modal and interaction effects. The results show that more acoustical panels had a positive effect on the children’s assessment of sound. Sound type had a main effect on the assessment of sound. Statistical significant cross-modal effects were found for lighting and sound type on the assessment of smell. Significant three-way interactions between ‘Vent’, ‘Sound’, and ‘Light’ types were found for smell and light in the ‘fewer panels’ situations; and for light in the ‘all panels’ situations. Multiple-regression analysis also showed that perception of smell was significantly related with draught, sound and light perception in ‘fewer panels’ conditions. Further studies on these cross-modal interactions are recommended, specifically at individual level.
- combined effect
- different environmental configurations
- lab study
- perceived indoor environmental qualities
- Primary school children