Indoor air quality for sustainable building renovation: A decision-support assessment system using structural equation modelling

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2-24-2022


This study scrutinized indoor air quality (IAQ) and symptoms of Sick Building Syndrome (SBS) for a sustainable building renovation (SBR). A systemic review of existing literature was performed, including identification, screening, and scoping phases. This was followed by a keyword-based scientometric analysis. By further refining keywords, this tri-dimensional relationship was highlighted through cross-disciplinary knowledge interactions using a content analysis method. A network analysis map helped identify critical criteria and sub-criteria, later categorized into four clusters of governing data variables. A survey-based Relative Importance Weight (RIW) benchmark was performed for each variable, exhibiting its contribution towards attaining an efficient IAQ-SBR process. The Structural Equation Modelling (SEM) was used to develop a Decision Support System (DSS). This set the system's structure incorporating four hierarchical levels of assessment for achieving an IAQ-SBR. A case study building was followed to test the proposed model in a real context. In sum, this study succeeded in (1) expanding the definition and evaluation of SBR to account for IAQ, (2) developing a DSS for assessing the sustainability of the renovation process, prioritizing actions, as well as tracking and benchmarking the effect of renovation activities on IAQ, (3) creating a comprehensive comparative and absolute assessment using variables' RIWs and loading factors. The presented approach portrayed a novel academic and industry outreach contribution that put IAQ at the heart of building renovation practices. It also showed the necessity of adopting an integrated thinking approach to account for interrelated variables for an efficient IAQ-SBR.