‘A Global Study: Designing for Gender Equality’

Energy and Sustainability Consultant, Raphael Amajuoyi was given the amazing opportunity through the CIBSE Ken Dale Travel Bursary Award to visit several cities as part of my proposed research topic titled, ‘A Global Study: Designing for Gender Equality’. The study saw Raphael visit San Francisco, Rio de Janeiro and Doha across 3 weeks to explore the design of case study commercial offices and how they respond to his study’s hypothetical question: ‘are buildings designed with a gender bias?’.

The study commenced in San Francisco, where offices in the Bay Area were issued with a thermal comfort occupancy survey for distribution to both male and female staff. The survey looked to gather an understanding on occupancy gender splits, location of participants in the office and typical clothing worn by occupants on any given day. An observatory session followed in each office where notes were taken to identify typical behavioural patterns of occupants and how they responded to indoor conditions throughout the working day.

The second leg was spent in the Brazilian coastal city of Rio de Janeiro. Case study offices in the beachfront neighbourhood of Botafogo were visited with the same thermal comfort study distributed to participants. This was followed by a session to observe typical behavioural patterns of occupants in a considerably warmer climate. Participants were invited to answer questions on their day-to-day thermal comfort perceptions and assess whether any differences were noted in comparison to respondents’ feedback from San Francisco.

Doha, the Qatari capital was the final city visited where temperatures peaked at 30°C (considering this occurred during the ‘winter’ season). Case study offices were also assessed with the thermal comfort survey and observatory session to understand whether any differences were seen when comparing behavioural patterns of occupants to all other cities.

The Ken Dale Travel Bursary report is expected to be published by CIBSE in Q1 of 2020 detailing Raphael’s research findings and key areas where further research can be explored. This has been amazing experience for Raphael as an Energy & Sustainability Consultant and he looks forward to sharing his research paper with you all!