Case Studies

Researching the influence of temperature and relative humidity on work performance and productivity

PhD student Sharareh Ghanbari is using the University of Bath's VSimulator to explore the influence that temperature and humidity have on work performance, wellbeing and productivity in office buildings.

Sharareh, a researcher in the University’s BRE Centre for Innovative Construction Materials, is using the facility’s fully controllable environmental chamber, which can simulate a range of physical factors that influence human occupants, such as variations in temperature, air quality and humidity.

Through a multidisciplinary approach consisting of physiology, psychology, economics and building energy, Sharareh aims to find the optimum ranges of temperature and relative humidity for human wellbeing and productivity. Pilot tests have already been carried out and a full test programme will be underway soon.

Sharareh said: “People spend up to 90% of their lives in indoor environments and typically 33% in office buildings. The potential impact of the indoor environment on occupant productivity can therefore be significant.”

“Decarbonisation policies around the world effectively make buildings more airtight in order to conserve energy. These policies have some unintended consequences on Indoor Environment Quality (IEQ) and thereby human wellbeing and productivity.”

She added: “Improving the indoor environment not only improves the wellbeing of workers, but also has financial benefits for companies due to increased productivity.”

For more information or if you are interested in participating in this research project, please contact Sharareh by sending an email to

If you are interested in undertaking similar investigations and would like to discuss a programme which involves using VSimulators, for either academic or commercial use, please contact the VSimulators team at

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