A scoping review of technological approaches to environmental monitoring

Graham Coulby, Adrian Clear, Oliver Jones, Alan Godfrey*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)
27 Downloads (Pure)


Indoor environment quality (IEQ) can negatively affect occupant health and wellbeing. Air quality, as well as thermal, visual and auditory conditions, can determine how comfortable occupants feel within buildings. Some can be measured objectively, but many are assessed by interpreting qualitative responses. Continuous monitoring by passive sensors may be useful to identify links between environmental and physiological changes. Few studies localise measurements to an occupant level perhaps due to many environmental monitoring solutions being large and expensive. Traditional models for occupant comfort analysis often exacerbate this by not differentiating between individual building occupants. This scoping review aims to understand IEQ and explore approaches as to how it is measured with various sensing technologies, identifying trends for monitoring occupant health and wellbeing. Twenty-seven studies were reviewed, and more than 60 state-of-the-art and low-cost IEQ sensors identified. Studies were found to focus on the home or workplace, but not both. This review also found how wearable technology could be used to augment IEQ measurements, creating personalised approaches to health and wellbeing. Opportunities exist to make individuals the primary unit of analysis. Future research should explore holistic personalised approaches to health monitoring in buildings that analyse the individual as they move between environments.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3995
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jun 2020


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