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An investigation of thermal comfort adaptation behaviour in office buildings in the UK

Liu, J., Yao, R. and McCloy, R. (2014) An investigation of thermal comfort adaptation behaviour in office buildings in the UK. Indoor and Built Environment, 23 (5). pp. 675-691. ISSN 1420-326X

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To link to this item DOI: 10.1177/1420326X13481048

Abstract/Summary

Around 40% of total energy consumption in the UK is consumed by creating comfortable indoor environment for occupants. Occupants’ behaviour in terms of achieving thermal comfort could have a significant impact on a building’s energy consumption. Therefore, understanding the interactions of occupants with their buildings would be essential to provide a thermal comfort environment that is less reliance on energy-intensive heating, ventilation and air-conditioning systems, to meet energysaving and carbon emission targets. This paper presents the findings of a year-long field study conducted in non-air-conditioned office buildings in the UK. Occupants’ adaptive responses in terms of technological and personal dimensions are dynamic processes which could vary with both indoor and outdoor thermal conditions. The adaptive behaviours of occupants in the surveyed building show substantial seasonal and daily variations. Our study shows that non-physical factors such as habit could influence the adaptive responses of occupants. However, occupants sometimes displayed inappropriate adaptive behaviour, which could lead to a misuse of energy. This paper attempts to illustrate how occupants would adapt and interact with their built environment and consequently contribute to development of a guide for future design/refurbishment of buildings and to develop energy management systems for a comfortable built environment.

Item Type:Article
Refereed:Yes
Divisions:Faculty of Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering > Innovative and Sustainable Technologies
Interdisciplinary centres and themes > Energy Research
ID Code:31923
Publisher:SAGE Publications

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