How one should perform sensory measurements of perceived air quality

Pawel Wargocki, Henrik N Knudsen, Justyna Krzyzanowska

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


The purpose of the present experiment was to study different aspects of sensory evaluations of air quality made by human subjects. The sensory panel of 40 subjects assessed the quality of the air polluted by 6 different building materials commonly used indoors. Both low- and high polluting materials were chosen for the study, including carpet, linoleum, PVC, ceiling and two different paints. The assessments were performed in the small-scale in 20 glass chambers called CLIMPAQs. Each CLIMPAQ was loaded with single material. Each material was examined at three different area specific ventilation rates, obtained by changing the material loading and keeping the airflow through CLIMPAQ at 0.9 L/s unchanged. Different scales and procedures of the sensory evaluation were used while performing the experiment. The results show that: 1. There were no differences between sensory ratings taken after 1 inhalation or 3 inhalations of air extracted from the chambers; 2. There were no differences between sensory ratings whether the materials in the chamber were visible or not visible to subjects; 3. There were no differences in sensory assessments taken with 3-minute break between assessments and with 3 inhalations of unpolluted air between assessments; and 4. There were no changes in the sensory assessments of the same exposure during the 3-week of experiments. The relationship between acceptability and the percentage of dissatisfied with the air quality as well as odor intensity and the percentage of dissatisfied with air quality. They were developed using independent assessments on the continuous acceptability scale and category intensity scale, as well as dichotomous (yes/no) acceptability scale; the ratings on the latter were used to estimate the percentage of dissatisfied. These relationships can be used when ventilation requirements are set in indoor environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHow one should perform sensory measurements of perceived air quality
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Event10th Rehva World Congress: Sustainable Energy Use in Buildings - Antalya, Turkey
Duration: 9 May 201012 May 2010
Conference number: 10


Conference10th Rehva World Congress

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