Assessing metabolic rate and indoor air quality with passive environmental sensors

Iván Ruiz, Mark Sprowls, Yue Deng, Doina Kulick, Hugo Destaillats, Erica S. Forzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


The present work introduces the use of environmental sensors to assess indoor air quality (IAQ) in combination with human biometrics. The sensor array included temperature, relative humidity, carbon dioxide, and noise monitors. The array was used in a classroom as well as in a vehicle cabin to assess the carbon dioxide production rate of individuals in a closed ventilation environment. Analysis of carbon dioxide production allowed for the quantification of the average metabolic rate of the group of individuals in the classroom, and for one individual in the vehicle cabin. These results yielded a mere 5% difference from the values assessed using commercial metabolic rate instruments, and averaged values from epidemiological studies. The results presented in this work verify the feasibility of determining an individual's metabolic rate using passive environmental sensors; these same sensors are able to provide a metric of IAQ that helps characterize the safety of the environment in which the individual is present.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number036012
JournalJournal of Breath Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - Apr 4 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


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