Contradictory thermal comfort requirements in a neonatal intensive care units: exploring middle grounds

S.J.C. Teuwen, A.K. Mishra, M.G.L.C. Loomans, C. de Vaan, H.S.M. Kort

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A NICU (Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) ward caters to critical situations. Health and wellbeing of premature infants are positively impacted through attention to the indoor thermal conditions. At the same, the caregivers (hospital personnel and parents) have different thermal comfort requirements. This research addresses these contradictory thermal comfort requirements. Thermal conditions were monitored in and close to an operational incubator, placed in a climate chamber. Investigated scenarios addressed conditions outside the incubator and incubator handling activities (opening port holes). Measurement results were used to identify its effect on the thermophysiology of the premature infant through a two-node thermophysiological model. Caregivers’ thermal comfort was evaluated using PMV. Investigated scenarios indicated a drop in incubator temperature and humidity during handling. Simulated infant core temperature showed a drop of < 1°C for one side opening scenarios. The outcomes allow for new thoughts on indoor climate system design and operation of NICU wards.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHealthy Buildings 2017 Europe, 2-5 July 2017, Lublin, Poland
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2017
EventHealthy Buildings Europe 2017, HB 2017 - Lublin, Poland
Duration: 2 Jul 20175 Jul 2017


ConferenceHealthy Buildings Europe 2017, HB 2017
Abbreviated titleHB 2017 Europe


  • Caregivers
  • Healing environment
  • Hospital
  • Indoor climate design
  • NICU
  • Premature infants

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