New occupant-centric thermal architecture increases thermal comfort spatially, individually and locally

New occupant-centric thermal architecture increases thermal comfort spatially, individually and locally

Human beings sense the thermal environment and experience thermal comfort distinctively. Moreover, according to recent empirical studies humans sense very small (0.1 °C) changes in indoor temperature and thermal comfort is positively associated with productivity. However, the mainstream thermal comfort estimation method assumes steady-state, uniform indoor thermal conditions. This resarch presents a novel and occupant-centric definition for thermal architecture.

Results

Co-operation between research organizations and companies led to a common understanding and definition of a novel thermal architecture concept. The concept challenges the deep-rooted view on steady-state, uniform indoor thermal conditions. According to the novel definition thermal architecture is competence and capability to identify and ability to fulfill the individual thermal condition needs of an occupant. Thermal architecture pursues to fulfill occupants´ needs of thermal comfort in spatially, individually, locally and at all times. The major advantage of the definition presented in this research is the fact that the definition inserts the identification of occupants needs at the core of thermal comfort.

Effects

The results of this research have several practical implications. The importance of the definition is that this can been seen as starting point for the new era of individual human thermal comfort understanding. This is especially practical for users to understand what can and should be required for indoor environment design. Moreover, the definition is also a useful tool for designers to steer the discussions with building owner which perspective to choose in design.

Future Opportunities

Long-term objective is to develop thermal environments that match the needs of occupants. The definition of thermal architecture developed in this resarch is among the first attempts to provide a common definition for thermal comfort for construction sector stakeholders. Obviously it needs further evaluation and clarification through future research efforts.

rettig2

RYM Program

Indoor Environment

Participants

Rettig ICC

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Granlund

Finnish Education Group FEG

Finnish Institute of Occupational Health

Skanska

VTT

Boost Brothers

Contact Person

More info

www.rettig.fi

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