31026 - Technical Environmental Physics

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Sustainable cities

Academic Year 2018/2019

Learning outcomes

The course is aimed at the comprehension of the basic concepts of Technical Environmental Physics applied to building physics, acoustics and lightings by means of the definition of the main quantities and laws, with particular care to the notions on environmental comfort intended both as quality of the built environment and man comfort.

Course contents

Requirements/ Prior knowledge

The student attending this course has to manage with the basic notions of Applied Physics. This knowledge is usually acquired by undergoing successfully the exam of Thermophysics and Acoustics of Constructions T or Environmental Technical Physics T. All lectures will be in Italian. Fluent spoken and written Italian is a necessary prerequisite in order to attend successfully the course and to manage with the lecture notes given by the teacher.


1) Notions of applied physics

Heat Exchangers and refrigeration cycles. Main criteria for the thermohygrometric verification of building structures.


Energy balance of the human body – Radiant mean temperature and operating temperature – Thermal comfort evaluation according to Standard UNI EN ISO 7730: PMV index (Predicted Mean Vote) and PPD index (Predicted Percentage of Dissatisfied) – Localized thermal discomfort.


The vision of light, lighting flux, fundamental photometric quantities - Natural and artificial lighting - Lighting comfort.


The nature of sound: preliminary notions and main acoustic quantities - Decibel sound levels and spectra - Decibel scale – (1/n) octave filters – Basic notions on sound levels meters.

Outdoor noise and outdoor sound propagation – Noise from roads and railways – Environmental noise evaluation and control.

Room acoustics: sound absorption and reverberation time – Sabine and Noris Eyring formulas for the reverberation time – Main criteria for speech intelligibility – Building acoustics - Sound insulation: laws and standards – Evaluation of the acoustic performance of building components – Acoustic comfort.


The handwritten notes taken during the lessons and the material given by the teacher are enough to prepare for the exam. In order to achieve a deeper knowledge of some topics or for self-study, the following books are suggested:

- Y. Cengel, G. Dall'O, L. Sarto, Fisica Tecnica Ambientale, McGraw-Hill;

- G. Moncada Lo Giudice, L. De Santoli, Benessere termico, acustico e visivo, Casa Editrice Ambrosiana;

- M. Vio, Climatizzazione con sistemi radianti, Editoriale Delfino;

- G. Moncada Lo Giudice, Illuminotecnica, Ambrosiana;

- R. Spagnolo, Manuale di Acustica Applicata, UTET;

- E. Cirillo, Acustica Applicata, McGraw-Hill;

- P. Fausti: Acustica in Edilizia, Rockwool Italia;

- P. Ricciardi: Elementi di acustica e illuminotecnica, McGraw-Hill;

- M. Spiga, Efficienza Energetica e Termofisica dell’Edificio, Esculapio.

Teaching methods

Classroom lessons, guided solution of exercises and in laboratory acoustic measurements.

Assessment methods

The final exam consists of a written test, aimed at evaluating the organic understanding of the subject with reference to the key concepts illustrated during the course. Students are also encouraged to elaborate a technical report that may contribute to their final assessment.

Teaching tools

PC projector, materials downloadable from teacher’s web site, laboratory demonstrations.

Office hours

See the website of Cesare Biserni