Summer post-occupancy evaluation of a Passivhaus care home in the UK

O. Guerra-Santin, C.A. Tweed

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This study investigates summer comfort in the first Passivhaus care home in the UK. Passivhaus is a German standard which aims to save energy and provide a warm indoor environment in cold seasons, but concerns remain about overheating in summer. There are different types of occupants in a care home. They differ in the type of activities they perform and also in their clothing requirements. This study sought to determine thermal comfort levels for the different groups of occupants. Continuous monitoring of indoor and outdoor parameters was carried out for the summer period. Energy consumption for specific final use and heat delivered to radiators were also measured, as well as spot measurements of air speed. The POE also included structured interviews with the staff who answered questions about their comfort and the operation of the building. Residents were not interviewed due to their poor health. Predicted Mean Votes were calculated from the measurements and the information provided in the interviews. Calculations were carried out for both residents and staff in each of the spaces monitored including a selection of occupied bedrooms, lounge, dining room, nurse station and reception. The results were compared with data from the comfort survey of the staff and showed that most members of the staff are not comfortable and consider the building to be too warm in the
summer. However, the PMV calculation showed that while indoor temperatures were too high for staff, they were acceptable to the residents because of their lower activity rate. Staff often accepted this discomfort because they were aware of the needs of the residents and acknowledged that higher temperatures are necessary for their comfort. This suggests complex relations are at work, which would normally be glossed over in conventional comfort studies. The paper concludes by considering the implications of this in the design of caring environments.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPLEA 2013 Sustainable Architecture for a Renewable Future
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventPLEA 2013 Sustainable Architecture for a Renewable Future - Munich, Germany
Duration: 10 Sept 201313 Sept 2013


ConferencePLEA 2013 Sustainable Architecture for a Renewable Future


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