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Behavioural responses to cold thermal discomfort

Gauthier, S; Shipworth, D; (2015) Behavioural responses to cold thermal discomfort. Building Research & Information , 43 (3) pp. 355-370. 10.1080/09613218.2015.1003277. Green open access

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Heating energy demand in buildings depends in part on occupants’ behavioural responses to thermal discomfort during the heating season. The understanding of this has become one of the priorities in the quest to reduce energy demand. Thermal comfort models have long been associated with occupants’ behaviour by predicting their state of thermal comfort or rather discomfort. These assumed that occupants would act upon their level of discomfort through three types of response: mechanisms of thermoregulation, psychological adaptation and behavioural responses. Little research has focused on the behavioural aspect. One of the key challenges is to gather accurate measurements while using discreet, sensor-based, observation methods in order to have minimum impact on occupants’ behaviour. To address these issues, a mixed-methods approach is introduced that enables the establishment of a three-part framework for mapping behaviour responses to cold sensations: (1) increasing clothing insulation level; (2) increasing operative temperature by turning the heating system on/up; and (3) increasing the frequency, duration and/or amplitude of localized behaviour responses such as warm drink intake or changing rooms. Drawing on this framework, an extended model of thermal discomfort response is introduced that incorporates a wider range of observed behaviours.

Type: Article
Title: Behavioural responses to cold thermal discomfort
Location: UK
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1080/09613218.2015.1003277
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09613218.2015.1003277
Language: English
Additional information: This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Building Research and Information on 2015, available online: http://wwww.tandfonline.com/10.1080/09613218.2015.1003277
Keywords: adaptive behaviour, comfort provision, metabolic rate, monitoring, occupant surveys, thermal comfort, thermal insulation of clothing
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1461295
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