Advertisement

Underground Workspaces: A Human Factors Approach

  • Chee-Kiong Soh
  • Vicknaeshwari Marimuther
  • George I. Christopoulos
  • Adam C. Roberts
  • Josip Car
  • Kian-Woon Kwok
Conference paper
Part of the Advances in Intelligent Systems and Computing book series (AISC, volume 825)

Abstract

With increasing population density in urban areas, underground space use in these urban centres is also on the rise. This can be in the form of more traditional underground (UG) facilities, such as water treatment plants and subway stations, but also more diversified uses such as underground offices and data centres. As these relatively novel underground workspaces are constructed, we need to take a human centric approach to ensure that the workers are happy and healthy. When designing any space, it is important to consider the relationships between the environmental, architectural characteristics and behavior and wellbeing. This is crucial in underground developments, as the initial cost of developing an underground space is significantly higher (at least in the short term) than aboveground and would have to be offset by a longer building life. Previous studies show negative attitudes towards working underground and hint at possible psychological and health complaints. Major themes include lighting and circadian rhythms, metabolic changes and claustrophobia. However, these studies are over thirty years old and mainly concentrate on self-report measures. To respond to this challenge, we have systematically examined the relationship between underground spaces and human performance in a 4 year research program. Using mixed methods such as psychophysiological measurements, cognitive tests and interviews, we examine the architectural and engineering choices that could impact or mitigate specific issues related to underground work environment.

Keywords

Underground Workspace Human factors Cognition Social Health Architecture Psychology 

Notes

Acknowledgments

This material is based on research/work supported by the Land and Liveability National Innovation Challenge (L2 NIC) Award No. L2NICCFP1-2013-2 (PI: Chee-Kiong Soh). Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the L2 NIC.

References

  1. 1.
    United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2017) World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision, custom data acquired via website. https://esa.un.org/unpd/wpp/DataQuery/. Accessed 24 April 2018
  2. 2.
    World Economic Forum: These are the world’s most crowded cities webpage. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2017/05/these-are-the-world-s-most-crowded-cities/. Accessed 5 Aug 2018
  3. 3.
    World Economic Forum: Which are the world’s most crowded cities? https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2015/11/which-are-the-worlds-most-crowded-cities. Accessed 5 Aug 2018
  4. 4.
    United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division The World’s Cities in 2016 – Data Booklet (ST/ESA/ SER.A/392) (2016)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO), Natural Sciences, Science and Technology, Sustainable Engineering. http://www.unesco.org/new/en/natural-sciences/science-technology/engineering/sustainable-engineering/. Accessed 24 April 2018
  6. 6.
    Gospodini A (2002) European cities in competition and the new ‘uses’ of urban design. J Urban Des 7(1):59–73.  https://doi.org/10.1080/13574800220129231CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ward K (2007) Thinking geographically about work, employment and society. Work Employ Soc 21(2):265–276CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Benardos A, Athanasiadis I, Katsoulakos N (2014) Modern earth sheltered constructions: a paradigm of green engineering. Tunn Undergr Space Technol 41:46–52.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2013.11.008CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Lee EH, Christopoulos GI, Lu M, Heo MQ, Soh CK (2016) Social aspects of working in underground spaces. Tunn Undergr Space Technol 55:135–145.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2015.12.012CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Roberts AC, Christopoulos GI, Car J, Soh CK, Lu M (2016) Psycho-biological factors associated with underground spaces: what can the new era of cognitive neuroscience offer to their study? Tunn Undergr Space Technol 55:118–134.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2015.12.0166CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Posadzki PP, Bajpai R, Kyaw BM, Roberts NJ, Brzezinski A, Christopoulos GI, Divakar U, Bajpai S, Soljak M, Jarbrink K, Nang EEK, Soh CK, Car J (2018) Melatonin and health: an umbrella review of health outcomes and biological mechanisms of action. BMC Med 16(1):18.  https://doi.org/10.1186/s12916-017-1000-8CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Lee EH, Christopoulos GI, Kwok KW, Roberts AC, Soh CK (2017) A psychosocial approach to understanding underground spaces. Frontiers Psychol 8, 452.  https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2017.00452
  13. 13.
    Wada Y, Sakugawa H (1990) Psychological effects of working underground. Tunn Undergr Space Technol 5(1–2):33–37CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Hane T, Muro K, Sawada H (1991) Psychological factors involved in establishing comfortable underground environments. In: Proceedings of the 4th international conference on underground space and earth sheltered buildings: urban underground utilization 1991. Urban Underground Space Center of Japan, Tokyo, Japan, pp 480–492Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Ringstad AJ (1994) Perceived danger and the design of underground facilities for public use. Tunn Undergr Space Technol 9(1):5–7CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Rachman S, Taylor S (1993) Analyses of claustrophobia. J Anxiety Disord 7(4):281–291.  https://doi.org/10.1016/0887-6185(93)90025-GCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Epstein S, Fenz WD (1965) Steepness of approach and avoidance gradient in humans as a function of experience: theory and experiment. J Exp Psychol 70(1):1CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Carmody J, Sterling RL (1990) Underground space on earth: analog for a lunar base. Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space II. American Society of Civil Engineers, New York, pp 551–560Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    Godard JP (2004) Urban underground space and benefits of going underground. Tunn Undergr Space Technol 19(4–5):372Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Ampofo F, Maidment G, Missenden J (2004) Underground railway environment in the UK Part 1: review of thermal comfort. Appl Therm Eng 24(5):611–631CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Ramsey JD, Burford CL, Beshir MY, Jensen RC (1983) Effects of workplace thermal conditions on safe work behavior. J Saf Res 14(3):105–114CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Tan Z, Roberts AC, Christopoulos GI, Kwok KW, Car J, Li X, Soh CK (2018) Working in underground spaces: architectural parameters, perceptions and thermal comfort measurements. Tunn Undergr Space Technol 71:428–439.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tust.2017.09.002CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Miller V, Bates G, Schneider JD, Thomsen J (2011) Self-pacing as a protective mechanism against the effects of heat stress. Ann Occup Hyg 55(5):548–555CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Küller R, Wetterberg L (1996) The subterranean work environment: impact on well-being and health. Environ Int 22(1):33–52CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Winterfeld KT, Teuchert-Noodt G, Dawirs RR (1998) Social environment alters both ontogeny of dopamine innervation of the medial prefrontal cortex and maturation of working memory in gerbils (Meriones unguiculatus). J Neurosci Res 52(2):201–209CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. 26.
    Mohirta A (2012) Natural lighting and psychological barriers in underground space, Ph.D. thesis. Brookes University, Oxford, EnglandGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Hockey GR, Briner RB, Tattersall AJ, Wiethoff M (1989) Assessing the impact of computer workload on operator stress: the role of system controllability. Ergonomics 32(11):1401–1418CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Lorist MM, Boksem MA, Ridderinkhof KR (2005) Impaired cognitive control and reduced cingulate activity during mental fatigue. Cogn Brain Res 24(2):199–205CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    Percival L, Loeb M (1980) Influence of noise characteristics on behavioral aftereffects. Hum Factors 22(3):341–352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Wilding J, Mohindra N (1980) Effects of subvocal suppression, articulating aloud and noise on sequence recall. Br J Psychol 71(2):247–261CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Finnegan MC, Solomon LZ (1981) Work attitudes in windowed vs. windowless environments. J Soc Psychol 115(2):291–292CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Collins BL (1975) Windows and people: a literature survey. Psychological reaction to environments with and without windows (No. NBS-BSS-70). National Bureau of Standards, Washington, DC (USA); US Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards, Institute for Applied Technology, WashingtonGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Dogu U, Erkip F (2000) Spatial factors affecting wayfinding and orientation: a case study in a shopping mall. Environ Behav 32(6):731–755.  https://doi.org/10.1177/00139160021972775CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Maier SF, Seligman ME (1976) Learned helplessness: theory and evidence. J Exp Psychol Gen 105(1):3CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Hodges WF, Spielberger CD (1966) The effects of threat of shock on heart rate for subjects who differ in manifest anxiety and fear of shock. Psychophysiology 2(4):287–294CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Paul PS, Maiti J (2007) The role of behavioral factors on safety management in underground mines. Saf Sci 45(4):449–471CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Civil and Environmental EngineeringNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.Nanyang Business SchoolNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  3. 3.Lee Kong Chian School of MedicineNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore
  4. 4.School of Humanities and Social SciencesNanyang Technological UniversitySingaporeSingapore

Personalised recommendations