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This paper describes the design and development of a system, the Environmental Monitoring Services (EMS), for observing micro-scale environmental phenomena based on a wireless sensor network. Motivation for the development was a real need coming from architects designing outdoor spaces that want to be able to measure the comfort of the resulting space. This comfort is affected not only by the surroundings but also by the materials used in the construction. To measure the comfort, certain environmental variables have to be observed with high spatial and temporal resolution making it an interesting application for wireless sensor networks. The EMS uses sensor nodes that are capable of measuring temperature, humidity and light. Compliance with open standards and integration of publicly available tools were two of the non-functional requirements taken into account during development, resulting in a generic tool for WSN deployment. The system can be controlled through a web interface that manages and displays the status of the network and its data and provides real-time and historic data access through a set of web-based services. The system has been validated by a real-world deployment, under a heavily radio-polluted environment and evaluated in terms of its relative performance.