Analysing thermal comfort perception of students through the class hour, during heating season, in a university classroom

A.K. Mishra, M.T.H. Derks, L. Kooi, M.G.L.C. Loomans, H.S.M. Kort

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Indoor to outdoor transitions, and the subsequent occupant adaptation, impact thermal perception of occupants and their evaluation of a building. A mixed methods thermal comfort study in a classroom of Eindhoven University of Technology was conducted to provide a better understanding of thermal perception of students as they move into and adapt to their classroom environment. Data was collected over two weeks during heating period, with different heating set-points. A total of 384 students, in seven undergraduate level lectures, participated voluntarily. The thermal sensation vote, obtained at different time points through classes — 10 min, 20 min, and 45 min — was found to be significantly different (p < 0.05). In the start of a lecture, perception varies primarily depending on the outside temperature, operative temperature, gender, and where the occupant came from. Comparing the two weeks' observations, second week having a 1.5 °C lower set-point, revealed that the most considerable differences occurred in the immediate response phase after indoor–outdoor transition. For nearly 20 min post transition, participants retain a thermal memory of their last exposure, gradually adapting as the lecture proceeds.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)464-474
Number of pages11
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 20 Sep 2017


  • Adaptive thermal comfort
  • Field study
  • Indoor climate
  • Lecture rooms
  • Thermal perception
  • Transition

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