Relationship between environmental indoor conditions of a classroom and the performance of undergraduate students

João Alexandre Paschoalin Filho, Antonio Jose Guerner Dias, João Henrique Storopoli, Andrea Ghermandi, Hendrio Chaves de Carvalho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: This research aims at studying the influence of a classroom’s inner environmental conditions on undergraduate students’ performance using an experimental methodology. Design/methodology/approach: The Uchida-Kraepelin test (U-K test) was applied to measure the performance of a group of 47 students in a selected classroom that was arranged according to the following experimental conditions: air-conditioning on, and doors and windows closed (D1); doors and windows open, and air-conditioning off (D2); air-conditioning off, and doors and windows closed (D3). After completing the tests, questionnaires were distributed to evaluate the students’ assessment of each set of environmental conditions. Findings: On-site measurements of humidity and carbon dioxide levels stress the importance of ensuring good natural ventilation through open doors and windows, independently of whether the air-conditioning system is operated or not. Also, the authors find that the students’ self-assessment regarding the inner environmental conditions for each studied set was entirely accurate, with set D3 being assessed as the worst. The U-K test scores for each environmental set did not show statistically significant differences, which means that, in the studied conditions, the student’s performance in the tests was not affected by the inner environmental conditions. Practical implications: There is a direct relationship between the building’s indoor conditions and an occupant’s health. Factors such as poor maintenance, bad indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and building age will worsen the building’s condition and negatively impact the occupant’s health. Educational buildings with poor IEQ can reduce the concentration and performance of occupants. Social implications: School is an important place to help students grow in their various capabilities. They spend approximately 30% of their daily lives in schools for their educational activities. Since most of their activities are performed indoors, indoor environmental attributes, such as light, heat, air and sound, should be maintained as required. In general, schools are not thermally comfortable. The extreme thermal environment of classrooms affects students’ concentration. Thermal discomfort may also cause irritation. In addition to reduced concentration, such an environment could also cause tiredness, sluggishness and health problem. Originality/value: Despite the importance of the issue, scientific investigations of the correlations between students’ performance and the quality of scholar buildings’ inner environmental conditions are still relatively recent. In this context, this research further explores the effect of a classroom’s different environmental inner conditions on the performance of undergraduate students at a university in São Paulo/Brazil.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)359-377
Number of pages19
JournalInternational Journal of Architectural Research: Archnet-IJAR
Issue number2
StatePublished - 6 Jun 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022, Emerald Publishing Limited.


  • Indoor environmental comfort
  • Scholar architecture
  • Sustainable architecture

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Urban Studies


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