Thermal comfort of heterogeneous and dynamic indoor conditions - An overview

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The buildings sector, being a leading energy consumer, would need to lead in conservation efforts as well. There is a growing consensus that variability in indoor conditions can be acceptable to occupants, improve comfort perception, and lower building energy consumption. This work endeavours to scrutinise and summarise studies that examined human thermal and comfort perception to such variations in the indoor environment: spatial transients, non-uniformities, and temperature drifts. We also briefly discuss personalised comfort systems since they work on an occupant's micro-climate and create non-uniformities in the indoors. Perusal of works done oneffect of non-thermal factors on thermal comfort, point to the need for synchronizing the overall indoor environment's quality – in terms of décor, air quality, lighting etc. – to improve occupant thermal comfort. Essence of the overall discussions come out to be that indoor thermal environment can be variable and still agreeable, implying existence of energy saving avenues, hitherto precluded from earnest consideration.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-100
Number of pages19
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number109
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2016


  • Thermal comfort
  • Thermal transients
  • Temperature drifts
  • Personalised comfort
  • Temperature zones
  • Thermal non-uniformities


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