Human Factors Research Group
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Indoor and Outdoor Environmental Quality

is based on the following area:

  • Acoustics
  • Thermal
  • Daylight & Human Responses

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Pedestrian Comfort and Air Quality

Pedestrian comfort and exposure in narrow street canyons was investigated in the presence of pollution sources using a series of experimentally-validated microclimate CFD simulations. The effectiveness of mitigation strategies and a practical guideline to better design of street canyons was further addressed in this study.

Lead: Parham Mirzaei Ahranjani


Second Hand Emissions from E-Cigarettes

Electronic cigarettes are an increasingly popular alternative to conventional cigarettes as a nicotine delivery system. They aerosolize a liquid mixture that is inhaled by the user. The aerosol can contain harmful metals, volatile organic compounds, carbonyls, and fine particles. The long-term health consequences of using electronic cigarettes are unknown. However, the aerosol itself is cytotoxic and induces DNA strand breaks. Each of its components may pose a significant health risk to users and non-users who inhale primarily and secondarily, respectively. Exposure to ultrafine particles in buildings, and other enclosed spaces, over extended periods is linked to chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. In the UK it is legal to use electronic cigarettes in enclosed spaces, such as cars and buildings.

The aims of this research are two-fold: (i) to measure emission rate of emission of UFPs from the use of ECs; and (ii) to use them to estimate the ventilation rates of various enclosed spaces required to maintain concentrations of UFPs below threshold levels and thus minimize health risks.

This research is funded by the University of Nottingham Interdisciplinary Centre for Analytical Science (UNICAS)

Lead: Benjamin Jones


Relationships between Energy, Cooking, and Health in Houses (REACHH)

The airborne pollutant that poses the greatest health risk to people in their homes is fine particles known as PM2.5s. Human exposure over extended periods is linked to chronic respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, and cancer. A primary source in houses is cooking and there is evidence linking some cooking methods with an elevated risk of lung cancer for domestic cooks.

There is no knowledge of the variation of PM2.5 concentrations attributable to cooking in UK houses that can be used to assess occupant exposure risk and required ventilation rates. There is uncertainty in methods of minimizing health risks from cooking and so this research will develop mathematical models to predict PM2.5 concentrations in UK houses emitted by cooking. This project is investigating whether current national building regulations of ventilation for houses ensure that PM2.5 concentrations emitted by cooking are maintained below safe limits. Finally, it will investigate any required remediation measures.

Lead: Benjamin Jones


Particle Emissions from Cooking

The cooking of foods emits fine particles known as PM2.5s. Human exposure to these particles is linked to diseases of the lungs and the hearts, and cancer. In order to specify ventilation rates required to dilute the concentration of PM2.5s in kitchens, one needs to know the rate they are emitted (the volume of PM2.5s per second) known as a source strength. This project is investigating our existing knowledge of PM2.5 source strengths when food is cooked. It will consider different food types and cooking methods. It will also investigate the effectiveness of cooker-hoods as a method of extracting PM2.5s before they mix in kitchens.

This project is funded by the University of Nottingham’s Faculty of Engineering New Lecturer Award.

Lead: Benjamin Jones


Modelling House Infiltration Using DOMVENT

Buildings account for over 25% of national energy demand and CO2 emissions, more than any other sector. This makes them a primary target for cuts via UK Government improvement schemes. An understanding of building performance is essential if measures designed to achieve savings are to be successful. Field-testing shows that building heating loads increase with the rate of exfiltration of warm air and the concurrent infiltration of cold air through gaps and cracks located in walls, ceilings, and floors.

The University of Nottingham and University College London have developed DOMVENT, a model of air infiltration across the entire UK housing stock. It predicts that infiltration is responsible for 3-5% of total UK energy demand, 11-15% of UK housing stock energy demand, and 10-14% of UK housing stock carbon emissions.

DOMVENT is free to download and requires MATLAB to run.

Lead: Benjamin Jones

Occupant Satisfaction in LEED-rated Buildings

Funder: Higher Education Academy International Scholarship Grants

Total Funding: £12,850

Start Date: 1 August 2012

End Date: 31 January 2013

LeadSergio Altomonte

Indoor Environmental Quality in Green-certified Buildings

Funder: UoN International Research Collaboration Fund

Total Funding: £ 4,941

Start Date: 1st July 2016

End Date: 31st August 2016

Lead: Sergio Altomonte

Temporal influences in glare response from daylight

Funder: EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant

Total Funding: £ 52,485 (PhD fees + salary)

Start Date: 01 January 2012

End Date: 31 December 2015

Lead: Michael Kent

Co-leads: Sergio Altomonte (principal supervisor), Robin Wilson (co-supervisor)

Biological Entrainment, Health, and Alertness in the Visual Environment

Funder: EPSRC Doctoral Prize (Post-doctoral award)

Total Funding: £ 64,000

Start Date: 01 October 2016

End Date: 30 September 2018

Lead: Michael Kent

Co-leads: Sergio Altomonte, Sarah Sharples (Human Factors Research Group)

Daylight and Human Response

Funder: Villum Foundation (Velux Visiting Professorship, KADK Copenhagen)

Total Funding: £ 17,062

Start Date: 01 July 2013

End Date: 30 June 2015

Lead: Sergio Altomonte



Human Factors Research Group

Faculty of Engineering
The University of Nottingham
University Park, Nottingham

Telephone: +44 (0) 115 951 4040