Buildings are built for a particular purpose, such as living, working or teaching. Regardless of the type of building, the primary objective is always to ensure an indoor environment of the quality required for the users. Despite the straightforward motivation for creating an indoor environment, the processes of designing, constructing, operating, commissioning, and maintaining indoor environments for people are complex, with numerous factors affecting user well-being. This course introduces the field of indoor environmental quality from a holistic and multidisciplinary perspective that includes thermal, visual, acoustic, and atmospheric (IAQ) indoor environment.

Indoor environment in buildings is a well-established multidisciplinary research field involving engineering, anthropology, sociology, psychology, biology, microbiology, medicine, chemistry, physics, philosophy (/aesthetics) and more. As such, no single scientific field or organisation can successfully address and integrate all aspects for providing a satisfactory indoor environmental quality. Some of this expertise has been incorporated into building codes, and the regulating bodies have come a long way in ensuring quality in indoor environments (in new constructions).

Meanwhile, there is still much to learn about newly identified parameters and potential interactions between established parameters. Even though many indoor environmental challenges are interrelated, current practice considers these challenges individually and separately. This course is built on the understanding that the future of indoor environmental quality as a scientific field could benefit significantly from an increased appreciation for its complexity and multidisciplinary nature.

Course format:
The course consists of five modules exploring a particular aspect of indoor environmental quality. Each module has several lectures given by presenters who are experts in their respective fields. The broad perspective of the lectures will serve as examples to attest to the complex and multidisciplinary nature of the field. Each module will also introduce dilemmas, common misconceptions (‘myths’) and questions from the participants, which will be treated through guided group discussions. Finally, the course will introduce exercises and tools to help participants apply multidisciplinary considerations in their everyday work designing, constructing and maintaining indoor environments.


Day 1 – Topics: [Multidisciplinary] [Wellbeing] [Comfort] [Perception] [Behavior]

09:00                   Introduction

09:30                   Module 1 (Holistic IEQ, Wellbeing and positive IEQ)

12:00                   Lunch

12:30                   Brief participant presentations

13:00                   Module 2 (Occupant Perception, Comfort, Behavior)


Day 2 – Topics: [IEQ Health] [Indicators] [Health risks] [Field measurements]

09:00                  Brief participant presentations

09:30                   Module 3 (Health impacts and ‘DALY’)

12:30                   Lunch

13:00                   Module 4 (Expert Insights: IEQ health risks)


19:00                   Optional: Social dinner


Day 3 – Topics: [Holistic Assessment Methods] [Screening Tools] [Decision support]

09:00                   Module 5 (Exercises, Tools, Decision making, Design compromises, Criteria weights)

12:00                   Lunch

13:00                   Closing comments and discussions


Organizer: Professor Alireza Afshari – 

Lasse Rohde, Postdoc, Aalborg University
Henrik N. Knudsen, Senior researcher, Aalborg University
Niss Skov Nielsen, Researcher, Aalborg University

ECTS: 3.0

Time: September 28-30, 2022

Place: Aalborg University – Copenhagen campus

Number of seats: 14

Deadline: September 7, 2022

Important information concerning PhD courses:
We have over some time experienced problems with no-show for both project and general courses. It has now reached a point where we are forced to take action. Therefore, the Doctoral School has decided to introduce a no-show fee of DKK 3.000 for each course where the student does not show up. Cancellations are accepted no later than 2 weeks before start of the course. Registered illness is of course an acceptable reason for not showing up on those days. Furthermore, all courses open for registration approximately four months before start. This can hopefully also provide new students a chance to register for courses during the year.
We look forward to your registrations.