Thermal comfort and building energy consumption implications - A review

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Author(s)

Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)164-173
Journal / PublicationApplied Energy
Volume115
Online published27 Nov 2013
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2014

Abstract

Buildings account for about 40% of the global energy consumption and contribute over 30% of the CO2 emissions. A large proportion of this energy is used for thermal comfort in buildings. This paper reviews thermal comfort research work and discusses the implications for building energy efficiency. Predicted mean vote works well in air-conditioned spaces but not naturally ventilated buildings, whereas adaptive models tend to have a broader comfort temperature ranges. Higher indoor temperatures in summertime conditions would lead to less prevalence of cooling systems as well as less cooling requirements. Raising summer set point temperature has good energy saving potential, in that it can be applied to both new and existing buildings. Further research and development work conducive to a better understanding of thermal comfort and energy conservation in buildings have been identified and discussed. These include (i) social-economic and cultural studies in general and post-occupancy evaluation of the built environment and the corresponding energy use in particular, and (ii) consideration of future climate scenarios in the analysis of co- and tri-generation schemes for HVAC applications, fuel mix and the associated energy planning/distribution systems in response to the expected changes in heating and cooling requirements due to climate change. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Research Area(s)

  • Adaptive comfort models, Building energy efficiency, Climate change, Heat and cooling requirements, Predicted mean vote