A method to weight three categories of adaptive thermal comfort
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To link to this article DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2011.12.007
The adaptive thermal comfort theory considers people as active rather than passive recipients in response to ambient physical thermal stimuli, in contrast with conventional, heat-balance-based, thermal comfort theory. Occupants actively interact with the environments they occupy by means of utilizing adaptations in terms of physiological, behavioural and psychological dimensions to achieve ‘real world’ thermal comfort. This paper introduces a method of quantifying the physiological, behavioural and psychological portions of the adaptation process by using the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) based on the case studies conducted in the UK and China. Apart from three categories of adaptations which are viewed as criteria, six possible alternatives are considered: physiological indices/health status, the indoor environment, the outdoor environment, personal physical factors, environmental control and thermal expectation. With the AHP technique, all the above-mentioned criteria, factors and corresponding elements are arranged in a hierarchy tree and quantified by using a series of pair-wise judgements. A sensitivity analysis is carried out to improve the quality of these results. The proposed quantitative weighting method provides researchers with opportunities to better understand the adaptive mechanisms and reveal the significance of each category for the achievement of adaptive thermal comfort.