The range and shape of thermal comfort and resilience

Nicol, Fergus, Rijal, Hom Bahadur, Imagawa, Hikaru and Thapa, Rita (2020) The range and shape of thermal comfort and resilience. Energy and Buildings, 224 (110277). ISSN 0378-7788


The adaptive approach to thermal comfort shows that there is not a single comfortable temperature. A wide range of the temperatures which occur in indoor environments can be found acceptable to building occupants depending on their individual experiences and circumstances. This paper extends the approach introduced in a recent paper [1] to learn the lessons which can be drawn by looking in detail at the relationship between indoor and outdoor temperatures in buildings. By reviewing the records of indoor and outdoor temperatures from field surveys in a variety of climates and cultures, the paper explores the limits to the acceptable indoor temperature range, and its relationship to the concurrent outdoor temperature. In doing this the paper builds on past findings adding some related lessons derived from surveys from many parts of the world – especially Japan, Pakistan, Nepal and Europe. The ways in which the shape of a cloud can be interrogated are explored as well as the effect of emergencies on the range of acceptable temperatures in buildings.

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