1. Which aspects of comfort are evaluated by the Comfortmeter?

A Comfortmeter survey rates 6 aspects of comfort: Thermal Comfort, Air Quality, Acoustics, Lighting, Individual Control, Office Environment & Cleanliness.

2. Is Comfortmeter compliant with BREAAM-in-use?

The BREAAM-in-use system contains a category about the perceived building satisfaction of the building users (HEA25). This category prescribes that the users» satisfaction is assessed in a «Post-Occupancy Survey». The Comfortmeter survey is compliant with the requirements of a such a Post-Occupancy Survey.

3. Is Comfortmeter compliant with the WELL Building Standard?

Given the diversity of built environments, it is difficult to prescribe a comprehensive set of features that are effective across all settings.

Occupancy Surveys can be useful in measuring the extent to which a building is effectively promoting and protecting the health and comfort needs of its occupants. In addition, the ability to offer feedback and have a recognized stake in one’s comfort and well-being can have a positive impact on occupant mood.

Feature 86 of the WELL Building Standard («Post Occupancy Surveys») intends to measure the extent to which a building is effectively promoting and protecting the health and comfort needs of its occupants.

Comfortmeter is compliant with the survey requirements of Feature 86.

4. How is the survey process organized? How long does it take?
  • Preparing the survey (in close cooperation with the client): gathering e-mail addresses of all persons working in a building. Drafting invitation mail. Possibly, subdividing a building in zones (e.g. multi-tenant building).
  • Conducting the survey: sending out the e-mails including links to the online-survey.
  • Reporting the survey: processing the survey results, and subsequently sending the report to the customer.
  • Commenting the survey results: 1 hour (webinar).
  • The above described activities normally take 6 weeks.
5. How long does it take for an employee to complete the survey?
On average, it takes no more than 10 minutes to complete the survey (59 questions – status 2016-11-24).
6. How many languages are available to conduct a survey?

Ten languages: English, Dutch BE / NL (2), French, German, Italian, Danish, Norsk (Bokmål), Greek, Latvian and Czech.

7. What kind of information is provided in a Comfortmeter report?

The Comfortmeter report contains all the crucial information on the level of comfort offered by a building. This enables the customer to know the current comfort satisfaction of the users, as well as the areas of improvement and the measures necessary for raising the comfort level. The following topics are reported: light, air quality, temperature, acoustics, individual control, and office environment & cleanliness. The Comfortmeter report also benchmarks a particular building to the buildings in the database.

8. Which reporting languages are available?
The Comfortmeter report can be generated in English, German, Dutch or French.
9. What is the average response rate of a Comfortmeter survey?
The high response rate ensures that the survey results are sufficiently representative for all users in the building.
10. What is the minimum number of respondents required to have a reliable statistical outcome?
More than 100 is the ideal situation. 40 respondents generate a low estimation error. 20 respondents is a minimum requirement and generates a high estimation error.
11. How is determined where the respondents are located in the building?
As part of the questionnaire, each respondent has to specify the building zone he/she is normally working in, out of a predefined list of options.
12. Comfortmeter measures 'subjective' comfort experience in an objective and scientific way. How does it work?

Measuring the comfort experience of building users is extremely relevant, amongst other as it affects employees’ productivity as well as health (and thus sick leave). However, comfort experience is by definition a subjective human experience.

The Comfortmeter is based on a carefully selected list of questions previously used in the most successful scientific comfort satisfaction questionnaires available at the time of the development of the questionnaire. The selected questions were subsequently validated and fine-tuned by a team of comfort experts of several European universities that contributed to the development of Comfortmeter.

The well-conceived questions of Comfortmeter allow individual employees to score their individual experience in an objective comfort score of the individual, varying between 0% (=very dissatisfied) and 100% (= very satisfied).

13. What is the difference between Comfortmeter and classical measurements (of temperature, humidity, etc) ?

There are two major approaches for measuring the comfort performance of a building:

Direct comfort measurement, such as Comfortmeter, where the building users are directly questioned about their comfort experience (comfort satisfaction of temperature in summer, in winter, perceived air quality…) on the basis of which an average comfort satisfaction score of the building can be calculated.

Indirect comfort measurement that is realized in two steps. In the first step, a number of physical parameters (e.g. temperature, relative humidity, CO2-level, lighting quality, acoustical parameters…) of the work environment are monitored/measured during a certain time. In a second step – and thus indirectly – an assessment of the expected comfort experience and comfort satisfaction score of the building users, is made by a specialized expert, based on the supposed correlation between physical parameters and comfort satisfaction as measured in a laboratory environment.

14. Does the Comfortmeter report the impact of comfort on absence due to sick leave ?

Presently the Comfortmeter does not calculate the financial effect of (reduced) sick leave. However, the Comfortmeter produces essential information which enables the client to decide if further investigation of ‘office-related-sick-leave’ is required.

15. For which type of buildings is the Comfortmeter suited?

In principle, the Comfortmeter survey is intended for use in any building with people that have their own workspace (offices, schools, universities, retail, industry, …). However, the type of questions will vary according to the type of building.

Factor4 has started with a survey for offices. Other variants of the Comfortmeter survey are likely to follow (schools, retail, care…). Organizations using flex working can also be surveyed with the Comfortmeter, as long as the flex workers work most of the time in the same building zone (not necessarily on the very same spot).

 

16. What are the minimum requirements for conducting a Comfortmeter survey in a building?

The building must have been occupied by more than 12 months. This implies that the building user has experienced at least 1 winter and 1 summer.