Thermal comfort and HVAC design for people with dementia

J. Hoof, van, H.S.M. Kort, J.L.M. Hensen, M.S.H. Duijnstee, P.G.S. Rutten

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

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Thermal comfort is one of the parameters important in building design for which extensive modelling and standardisation exist. These are not always applicable to people with cognitive disorders. People with dementia have an altered sensitivity for indoor environmental conditions, which can induce problematic behaviour that may form a serious burden for professional and family carers day and night. The creation of supportive and comfortable home environments for both people with dementia and partners is a non-pharmacological strategy to increase well-being and to combat the negative effects of temperature ‘extremes’. This paper, based on literature review, provides an overview of needs regarding thermal comfort and the design and implementation of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems for people with dementia. In principle, older adults do not perceive thermal comfort differently from younger college-age adults. Due to the pathology of people with dementia, as well as their altered thermoregulation, the perception of the thermal environment might be different from that of their counterparts without dementia. Fortunately, a lot can be done to create a comfortable environment. When implementing systems one should however consider aspects like user-technology-interaction, diverging needs and preferences within group settings, safety-issues as electrocution, falls, and wandering, and minimizing negative behavioural reactions as fear and draught due to suboptimal positioning of outlets. At the same time, technology puts demands on installers that need to learn how to work with customers with dementia. Furthermore, they should realise that the performance of buildings is associated with the perception of the user.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 9th International Healthy Buildings Conference and Exhibition (Healthy Buildings 2009), 13-17 September 2009, Syracuse, USA
EditorsS. Santanam, E.A. Bogucz, J.S. Zhang, H.E. Khalifa
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Event9th International Conference and Exhibition on Healthy Buildings (HB 2009) - Syracuse, NY, United States
Duration: 13 Sep 200917 Sep 2009
Conference number: 9


Conference9th International Conference and Exhibition on Healthy Buildings (HB 2009)
Abbreviated titleHB 2009
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySyracuse, NY


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