This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
Direct and accessible guidance from key subject overviews to implementing practical solutions
The rights of publication or translation are reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means without the prior permission of the Institution. © January 2006 The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers London Registered charity number 278104 ISBN-10: 1-903287-67-7 ISBN-13: 978-1-903287-67-5 This document is based on the best knowledge available at the time of publication. However no responsibility of any kind for any injury, death, loss, damage or delay however caused resulting from the use of these recommendations can be accepted by the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, the authors or others involved in its publication. In adopting these recommendations for use each adopter by doing so agrees to accept full responsibility for any personal injury, death, loss, damage or delay arising out of or in connection with their use by or on behalf of such adopter irrespective of the cause or reason therefore and agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers, the authors and others involved in their publication from any and all liability arising out of or in connection with such use as aforesaid and irrespective of any negligence on the part of those indemnified. Typeset by CIBSE Publications Printed in Great Britain by Latimer Trend & Co. Ltd., Plymouth PL6 7PY
CIBSE Knowledge Series: KS6
Principal author Gay Lawrence Race Editors Justin Roebuck Ken Butcher
CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort
1 Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1 1.1 Use of this guidance . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2 Thermal comfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 2.1 What is thermal comfort? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 2.2 What determines thermal comfort? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4 2.3 Key environmental factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 2.4 Ventilation and air quality . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13 2.5 The adaptive approach to thermal comfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .14 2.6 How hot is hot? . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 2.7 Design criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19 2.8 Practical issues . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .21 Visual comfort . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 3.1 Key environmental factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24 3.2 Design criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27 Acoustic comfort (aural comfort) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .29 4.1 Key environmental factors . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30 4.2 Design criteria . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32 Key questions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Appendix A: Measuring operative temperature . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37 Appendix B: Thermal comfort studies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38 References . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43 Further reading . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44
Note from the publisher
This publication is intended to provide information and guidance on the subject of comfort for those responsible for the operation of buildings and for the design, installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance of building services, but is not primarily intended for use in design. It is not intended to be exhaustive or definitive and it will be necessary for users of the guidance given to exercise their own professional judgment when deciding whether to abide by or depart from it. Detailed design guidance is provided in other CIBSE publications such as CIBSE Guide A: Environmental design (2006).
CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort
Buildings are designed to meet our basic need for: — — — shelter: protection from the elements security: safety comfort: warmth and light.
Many of these basic needs were originally met by a cave with a fire at the entrance to provide both security and warmth and light. Nowadays, although we might expect more sophistication in delivery, and more facilities, the fundamental needs remain the same. Once the needs for shelter and security are met, the remaining main requirement is for a ‘comfortable’ internal environment. Whilst this may seem a simple task to achieve, in practice there are many factors to be considered in the aim to provide comfortable conditions for the building occupants. Thus one of the primary functions of buildings and building services systems is to create and maintain a comfortable environment. Achieving the ‘right’ environment is the main goal of good building services design — whether a comfortable work or leisure environment for people or the correct operating conditions for machinery or equipment. Electronic and process equipment often requires far more stringent conditions than people. The main factors that influence comfort for people relate broadly to our senses i.e. touch, vision, smell, hearing. Thus the design of the building services systems must provide a good thermal, aural and visual environment i.e. fresh air and warmth or cooling, no unwanted noise or odours and good lighting. Design criteria exist for all these factors but the choice depends on many variables including use of the space, activity level, clothing level and age of occupants, etc. Decisions on design conditions are made harder by the fact that comfort is a very subjective response with different people having different comfort levels; so the main aim is literally to ‘keep most of the people happy most of the time.’ In surveys of user satisfaction within buildings* comfort issues, particularly temperature and air freshness, are among those rated as the most important aspects. The same studies also show that dissatisfaction with the internal environment, particularly the thermal environment, is widespread with complaints of overheating in winter and coldness in air conditioned buildings in summer commonplace.
* For example the series of PROBE studies in Building Services journal
Comfortable: at ease; free from want, trouble, hardship or pain; quietly happy. Cassel Concise English Dictionary
Aim The primary aim of building services systems is to create, and maintain a comfortable environment.
CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort
Detailed guidance on the environmental criteria for design can be found in CIBSE Guide A. visual and acoustic comfort. which can be used to help you find the most relevant sections to you: — — — — — — What is thermal comfort? (section 2.All those involved in the design. Section 5 provides guidance on the information that may be needed when deciding on comfort requirements. This publication provides an introduction to the subject of comfort: — Sections 2–4 explain the basic principles governing thermal.5) How hot is too hot? (section 2. It is particularly important for building owners and users to be able to explain their internal environmental comfort requirements and to be aware of the constraints on what can be achieved or delivered with building services systems. specification and delivery of the internal environment therefore need a good appreciation of comfort requirements.1) What determines thermal comfort? (section 2.4) What is the adaptive approach? (section 2. installation and commissioning to facilitate discussion with their clients.3) How do ventilation and air quality affect thermal comfort? (section 2. — The publication answers the following questions. and provides students with an accessible introduction to the subject of comfort. chapter 1(1). facilities manager and building user to: — — understand comfort requirements communicate their needs and requirements to their engineers/advisors. It can also be used by building services engineers involved in design. covering key factors and the main design criteria.1 Use of this guidance This guidance is intended to enable and assist the non-expert client.2) How does the environment affect thermal comfort? (section 2. 1.6) 2 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort .
2) What questions do I need to ask? (section 5) What information do I need to provide? (section 5) Finally.2) What determines acoustic comfort? (section 4) What are the design criteria for acoustic comfort? (section 4. CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 3 .7) What can systems deliver? (section 2.— — — — — — — — What are the design criteria for thermal comfort? (section 2. a selected bibliography is provided for those who want further reading on the subject.8) What determines visual comfort? (section 3) What are the design criteria for thermal comfort? (section 3.
given in CIBSE Guide A(2). conditions within buildings in the UK are unlikely to cause thermal stress and therefore further discussion of this is outside the scope of this publication. Work productivity can fall and there is also an increased risk of error in task activities which could potentially cause an accident. 4 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort . The Approved Code of Practice (ACOP) to these regulations defines a ‘reasonable temperature’ as that which secures the thermal comfort of people at work. where there is a fall or rise in body core temperature which can be harmful. i. This is further defined as being met by ‘maintaining a ‘reasonable’ temperature of at least 16 °C (or at least 13 °C if the work involves physical effort)’. draughty or stuffy. heat stress or cold stress. they are too hot or too cold. Other than in some extreme industrial applications. such as fatigue and irritability. they do not suffer medical symptoms due to the discomfort.e.e. beyond irritability and tiredness or chills and shivering. Definition of thermal comfort That condition of mind which expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment and is assessed by subjective evaluation. and although this will not directly harm people it can cause other problems. are often taken as a good practice indication of thermal comfort and used for design purposes. thermal comfort is fundamentally all about how people interact with their thermal environment. what they are really doing is responding to the transfer of heat from their body to the surroundings. Thermal discomfort is therefore undesirable from a health and safety viewpoint. ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 2.e. Respiratory problems can occur and there can also be the risk of hypothermia or hyperthermia. and could potentially prove fatal. thermal comfort thermal discomfort thermal stress — — Thermal comfort is where there is broad satisfaction with the thermal environment i. Another way to regard this is as an absence of discomfort! Thermal discomfort is where people start to feel uncomfortable i. Safety and Welfare) Regulations 1992 state that ‘During working hours. such as dehydration or heat exhaustion in hot environments or frost bite in cold ones. and to the quality of the air within the space. the temperature in all workplaces inside buildings shall be reasonable’.2 2. most people are neither too hot nor too cold. without the need for special clothing. In practice the CIBSE guidelines on comfort.1 Thermal comfort What is thermal comfort? Thermal environments can be divided loosely into three broad categories: Legislation — The Workplace (Health. When people talk about feeling hot or cold. is where the thermal environment will cause clearly defined potentially harmful medical conditions. Thermal stress. However thermal discomfort can occur.2 What determines thermal comfort? Although there are many factors to take into account. but are not made unwell by the conditions.
in order to be comfortable we need to balance this heat production by an equal amount of heat loss from the body. Heat is lost from the body in four ways: — — — — by evaporation by radiation by convection by conduction CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 5 . Humidity: if there is too much moisture in the air it can feel humid and uncomfortable. digestion etc) and activity. If the loss exceeds generation we feel cold. For example too much strenuous activity in conditions where heat can not be lost can lead to a rise in body temperature and heat stress. For example sitting and reading requires a higher temperature than playing an active sport such as squash. whereas insufficient heat production in the body to balance heat loss can lead to a drop in body temperature. with this increasing to around 250 W for physical activity such as dancing or gym work. The more active we are the more heat is produced. or become ill. but air moving too fast can also cause discomfort – a pleasant cooling breeze in the summer can be an annoying cold draught in the winter.The key factors are: — Temperature: a comfortable temperature level depends on activity and clothing level. If the imbalance is severe then body temperature. conversely if we cannot lose heat fast enough we feel hot. the amount depending on activity. Heat is therefore is produced by the body all the time. depends on how much fresh air is supplied and what contaminants are present or are produced in the space. If the two are not evenly balanced then we can start to feel uncomfortable. throat and skin can all feel uncomfortably dry and static electricity can build up.e. can rise or fall to dangerous levels. i. Key factors The key factors in thermal comfort are: G G G G temperature humidity air movement air quality — — — Our bodies produce energy by using oxygen to metabolise food. whereas if there is too little the eyes. rather than stuffiness and a build up of odours. hypothermia. Air quality: a feeling of freshness. normally at a core temperature of around 37 °C. Whilst some is used for maintaining body function (respiration. For example when doing normal office work we generate around 140 W. Air movement: completely still air can get very stuffy and stale. Therefore. with a base production rate of around 60 W for an average person i. the amount of heat produced when we sleep. This rate of energy production is known as the metabolic rate.e. or shoppers in winter coats can require lower temperatures than the shop staff manning the tills. most of the energy produced is in the form of heat. and convert it to useful forms of energy.
Two different temperatures are important. by the emergency route of sweating. see Figure 1. with some further convective heat exchange via respiration. So.Figure 1: Body heat balance In most situations. Radiation and convection losses and gains take place at the skin surface. as these affect the different ways we lose heat. the heat loss by conduction tends to be negligible. for example the radiant heat gain from sitting in the sun or near an open fire or the convective gain from conditions 6 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort . Thermal comfort summary The four main environmental factors that affect thermal comfort are: G G G G air temperature (ta ) relative humidity mean radiant temperature (tr ) air movement and specifically air velocity (v) with two further personal factors affecting comfort being: G G clothing level activity level and therefore metabolic heat production Although evaporative heat loss is always a loss. radiation and convection to provide the main heat loss routes. the use of the space and the external weather conditions. The amount of heat the body loses by each of the different heat transfer routes varies with the conditions. that is. 38% by radiation and 38% by convection. In buildings the main internal environmental factors of temperature. the loss of heat from our body must be equal to the rate at which we generate heat. air temperature and radiant temperature. for example if it is sunny or if the air temperature is relatively hot or cold. For example in moderate thermal environments the body might typically lose around 25% of the heat loss by evaporation. Body heat production (metabolic rate – rate of work) = Heat loss or gain by evaporation. In well insulated buildings where the air and radiant temperatures are similar values then the relative heat loss could typically be around 24% by evaporation. We can control activity level and clothing to some extent — increasing activity and/or putting on an extra jumper or jacket if too cold for example. 45% by radiation and 30% by convection. Each of these modes of heat transfer depends on different environmental factors: — — — — air temperature affects evaporation and convection relative humidity affects evaporation only mean radiant temperature affects radiation air velocity affects evaporation and convection. if necessary. leaving evaporation. the body can gain as well as lose heat by radiation and convection. Evaporation heat loss takes place via respiration. for thermal comfort we need to be in thermal balance with our surroundings. radiation and convection We are also affected by the surrounding environment. humidity. or dressing lightly and sitting still in hot conditions. insensible perspiration (continuous evaporation at the skin surface and from the lungs) and. air movement and air quality depend on the design of the building together with the design and operation of the building services.
In cases where there are both convective and radiant gains rather than losses. the evaporative loss remains the only way for the body to lose heat.where the air temperature is higher than the skin surface temperature. Body heat is lost by convection and evaporation to the surrounding air Figure 2: Body heat exchange with the thermal environment Body heat is lost by radiation to cool surfaces and spaces There can be radiant heat gains from warm surfaces (a) Cool evening Body heat is lost by convection and evaporation to the surrounding air There can be direct radiant heat gains There can be convective heat gains if the surrounding air is warmer than skin temperature Heat gains or losses by conduction are negligible (b) Sunny day CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 7 . we can find very hot and humid conditions so uncomfortable as all mechanisms of heat transfer are reduced. such as can occur in equatorial regions (see Figure 2). This is why. Further detail on the human physiology and heat transfer mechanisms is outside the scope of this publication but can be found in a number of texts on thermal comfort (see bibliography). when unaccustomed to the conditions.
2. air quality is also relevant and this is further discussed in section 2. if not impossible. fixed location. equivalent temperature etc. windows etc and any other radiant sources in the space such 8 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort .3 Key environmental factors The four main environmental factors that affect thermal comfort are therefore: — — — — air temperature (ta) relative humidity mean radiant temperature (tr) air velocity (v) As discussed. such as the walls.2. for design it is necessary to specify measurable limits or ranges for each of the environmental factors. for example.3.1 Temperature Air temperature is defined as the dry bulb temperature of the air in the space and is measured by a thermometer that is protected from any radiant heat exchanges.4. An ordinary. such as predicted mean vote (PMV) (see Appendix B on thermal comfort studies for further discussion). effective temperature. the relative effect of all the radiant heat transfers from the various solid surfaces and objects in the space. to find one single index that exactly matches human comfort under all possible conditions. Therefore. corrected effective temperature. Mean radiant temperature at any point in a space is a measure of the effect of the radiant interchanges at that point i. ceiling. or not affected by them. sunshine falling on the bulb or by the heat from a nearby radiator or computer etc. Over the years there have been many efforts to come up with a comfort index (e.g. There are some measures that do relate to predictions of comfort levels that a majority might usually find acceptable. Partly because everyone is different it has proved very difficult. including scales such globe temperature.e. making allowance. mercury-inglass thermometer will not usually sense air temperature accurately as it can be affected by. However these have all either omitted one or other of the key factors or have since proved flawed. for any interactions that might occur. but tends to be considered as a separate issue when specifying design requirements. ‘the comfy-meter reads 7 therefore everyone is comfortable’) that accurately reflects human perceptions of comfort. where possible.
Operative temperature (to) is commonly used as a design parameter.as heaters. e. The closer it is to the radiant object. It cannot be measured directly but can be found by using a globe thermometer to determine globe temperature and using measurements of the air temperature and air velocity at the same point to then determine the radiant temperature. A full discussion and definition of operative temperature (to) is given in CIBSE Guide A. lights. such as a hot fire. One way to envisage this radiant interchange is to think of the relative reflections of the various objects and surfaces in a small shiny globe. equipment etc.g. which is also used in both International Standards and ASHRAE Standards. radiant temperature and. to = 1/2 ta + 1/2 tr CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 9 . Close to fire the relative effect of the hot radiation is large and the mean radiant temperature will be higher Further away the relative effect of the hot radiation is much less and the mean radiant temperature will be lower Figure 3: Mean radiant temperature Radiant source. air velocity.1 m /s i. such as a Christmas tree ornament (see Figure 3). but for practical purposes it can be taken to be equivalent to the average of the air and radiant temperatures at air speeds of around 0. fire CIBSE suggests that the room air temperature and mean radiant temperature can be combined as the operative temperature.e. as it combines the effects of air temperature. Mean radiant temperature can be predicted mathematically from knowledge of the surface temperatures in the space. the larger the reflection (and therefore the radiant effect) and the higher the mean radiant temperature at that point. to some extent.
3.2 Humidity Figure 4: How humidity varies with temperature Humidity is the term used for the amount of moisture in the air i. Within building services design. for example the condensation that often occurs on the cold surface of single glazed windows in winter. 21 °C At 21 °C the air can hold four times as much water vapour before it is completely saturated i. the concentration of water vapour in the atmosphere. by humidification or by dehumidification. A table-tennis ball is a suitable size. 100% RH For comfort and design the term relative humidity is more commonly used which is a ratio of water vapour pressures. 2.Operative temperature approximates closely to the temperature at the centre of a painted globe of some 40 mm diameter. (see Figure 4). 0 °C At 0 °C the air can only hold this small amount of water vapour before it is completely saturated i.e. Appendix A describes how to make and use a suitable thermometer to assess operative temperature. Two different ratios are commonly used in building services engineering: — — relative humidity (RH) percentage saturation. so a value of 0% means that the air would be completely dry whereas at 100% it would be fully saturated and any more moisture would condense out. In well insulated buildings that are predominantly heated by convective means. the difference between the air and the mean radiant temperatures (and hence between the air and operative temperatures) is usually small. the other expression commonly used is percentage saturation which is a ratio of moisture content masses. for example warm air can hold much more moisture than cold air.e. Equally. The amount of moisture the air can hold is temperature and pressure dependent. It is usually expressed in terms of a percentage ratio of the amount of moisture in the air at a particular condition compared to the maximum amount of moisture the air at that same temperature and pressure can hold. This is particularly useful for air conditioning design as it is then easy to work out how many grammes of water to add or remove in the air conditioning unit. if air containing a certain amount of moisture is warmed then the humidity level will gradually fall. 100% RH 10 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort .e. and may be used to construct a thermometer appropriate for indoor spaces. to achieve the required room condition. For most practical purposes the values of both are interchangeable for normal occupied environments although the values can differ by as much as 5% at extreme conditions. So if warm air is cooled enough you can get moisture precipitating out as condensation or damp. such as might be used in industrial drying.
where the people are (see Figure 5).e.3 m/s. 2. Acceptable air speeds do depend on the temperature and direction of the moving air. Levels above 80% feel very sticky and uncomfortable. and can lead to condensation and mould growth on building surfaces. although it does affect the perceived air quality. Generally the range of comfortable air velocities in the occupied zone is 0. Both the speed and the direction (i. Mixing zone: air supplied at high level can mix with room air and reduce in air speed before entering the occupied zone Figure 5: Occupied zone Occupied zone: air velocities need to be low to avoid a feeling of draught and discomfort Moving air will cause a cooling effect as heat is removed from the body by convection and evaporation.3 Air movement Air movement in the occupied zone. The air can feel very stale and stuffy at high relative humidities. velocity) of the moving air are important for comfort. i.3.Humidity has little effect on feelings of warmth. at the moderate temperatures found in most UK buildings.1 to 0. Also people are more tolerant of air movement if the direction of the air movement varies. As long as conditions are neither too dry nor too humid we are relatively unaffected by changes in humidity level. CIBSE Guide A(1) recommends that relative humidities in the range 40–70% RH are generally acceptable. Relative humidities below 30% can result in shocks due to static electricity.e. is important to comfort as too high a speed can gives rise to complaints of draught whereas too low a speed can reduce the air quality to a point where it becomes stale and stuffy. and below about 25% can cause eyes and skin to feel dry. If the air is warm then a higher speed may be acceptable whereas if the air is cool then even a low speed can feel draughty. CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 11 .
This can occur with heating systems that are more convective. In practice the opposite is often the case (see section 2. Analysis of the patterns of air movement in a space is known as room air diffusion (RAD). literally warm feet for comfort and cool head for clear thinking. as high level supply can potentially cause draughts on the back of the neck for people working at desks. To avoid discomfort it is recommended that the air temperature rise between ankles and head should not exceed 3 °C. The temperature of the moving air will generally be somewhere between that of the room air and the supply air. which means the air has to mix and slow down a lot before it enters the occupied zone. In order to avoid discomfort the two temperatures should not be too far apart with. The design of the supply outlet and the direction and temperature of the supply air needs careful consideration to ensure comfort at all operating conditions. for example if sat next to a cold window surface or next to a 12 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort . the temperature should be warmer at foot level than at head level. Localised radiation Excessive radiation. such as warm air heating. ideally. low level supply can cause ankle level draughts therefore the supply velocity needs to be very low as the air is directly entering the occupied zone. This therefore again emphasises the need to carefully consider the room air diffusion patterns in a space. If this is too great then it can feel uncomfortable. particularly if it is on one side of the body only. it will tend to give a feeling of freshness. The two parts of the body most susceptible to draughts are the back of the neck and the ankles. leading to stratification in a space. Air and radiant temperature differences If the radiant temperature is above the air temperature.8) as warm air rises. If the air temperature is above the radiant temperature it can tend to feel stuffy. This can occur with heating systems that have more of a radiant component such as radiant panels or radiator systems or with sunshine entering an air cooled space in summer.3.e. can cause discomfort. 2. which means that the cooling situation needs to be particularly carefully considered. and again careful consideration of supply temperature and RAD pattern is needed. Equally.To put this in context a typical supply velocity from a high level outlet would be in the region of 3 m/s.4 Other factors Other environmental factors affecting thermal comfort include: Temperature variations in the space The ideal for comfort is to have ‘warm feet and cool head’ i. depending on room height. the radiant temperature slightly above the air temperature. with cold feet and a feeling of stuffiness at head level.
roaring fire in winter. to a lesser extent.4 Ventilation and air quality Fresh air for ventilation is required to both provide air for respiration and to achieve acceptable air quality. As discussed in section 2. The same imbalance can be caused. To avoid discomfort it is recommended that floor surface temperatures should be in the range 19–29 °C. To consider the case of the roaring fire in a cold room.5. nose and throat. firstly by smell and secondly by sensitivity to irritants. Fresh air is required for comfort to: — — — — provide oxygen for respiration dilute carbon dioxide. People tend to assess air quality in two ways.3 the room air diffusion in the space i. such as pollen. Warm or cold floors Localised discomfort can be caused if the floor surface temperatures are too cold or too hot.2 litre/s per person to dilute carbon dioxide: 1. such as odours give a feeling of freshness. the amount of fresh air required for these is approximately: — — to provide oxygen: 0. overhead lighting.9. produced as a by-product of respiration dilute contaminants produced as part of occupation.e. cold window surfaces etc. tobacco smoke or other pollution. and. Further guidance in given in CIBSE Guide A(1). by the eyes. for example if there is underfloor heating. In order to avoid discomfort large imbalances in radiant temperatures should be avoided. Interestingly. by heated or cooled surfaces in a room such as overhead radiant heaters. will directly affect the air quality. in practice the imbalance causes discomfort.0 litre/s per person CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 13 . section 1. one side of the body is excessively hot and the other is cold. solar radiation through glass. fresh air. However good air quality within the work place can be achieved by ensuring that there are no significant sources of pollutants within the space and that there is an adequate supply of clean. 2. although the average temperature may well be theoretically acceptable. As yet there are no generally accepted measurement criteria for air quality assessment such as we have for warmth or humidity. the degree of good mixing or temperature stratification with consequent stagnant areas.
where the main potential contaminants are occupation odours. Spaces in which smoking is permitted should be regarded as ‘smoking rooms’.— — to dilute occupation contaminants: 5 litre/s per person to give a feeling of freshness: 10 litre/s per person Therefore we require around 50 times more fresh air to both dilute odours and create an acceptable fresh feeling than we do to provide oxygen. Further discussion of air quality and health issues is given in CIBSE Guide A(1) chapter 8. and has been the subject of much research over the last hundred years or so. What this research has shown is that our feelings of comfort do not just depend on human physiology and mechanisms of heat transfer but also on social factors and on our psychological responses to the environment.5 The adaptive approach to thermal comfort As is evident from the preceding sections the thermal interaction between people and their environment is a complex area. Detailed guidance for a wider range of building and room types is given in CIBSE Guide A(1) Table 1. See Table 2 in section 2. In these cases the ventilation strategy should be based on a risk assessment under the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994(2). some major work on thermal comfort and measurement of environmental conditions was born of necessity when. during the Second World War. The majority of subsequent research on thermal comfort in buildings has taken one of two main approaches: 14 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort .7. and a minimum outdoor air supply of 45 litre/s per person is suggested by CIBSE for such rooms. thermal stress. CIBSE recommends outdoor air supply rates for different types of space given as an outdoor air supply rate in litre/s per person. 2. If there are other contaminants in the space.5 and CIBSE Guide A section 1.7 for examples. For general occupation. then other requirements apply based on the need to limit the concentration limits for pollutants to safe levels. Design guidance is given in CIBSE Guide B chapter 3(3). or if there are pollutants produced as part of an industrial process. However it should be noted that this recommendation aims only to reduce discomfort and does not ensure health protection. such as odours from new paint or a glued floor covering. Interestingly. stale air etc. submarine crews had to stay underwater for long periods of time and thus literally became guinea pigs for immediate studies of the effect of heat build up.
(See Appendix B for further information. do take various actions in order to adapt to their environment and achieve thermal comfort. PMV and PPD The predicted mean vote (PMV) is the mean value of the votes on a seven point comfort scale (e. by opening a window. from involuntary mechanisms such as shivering or sweating to voluntary ones such as changing their activity or their clothing or closing a window blind. — The level of thermal comfort or discomfort for both approaches is often expressed in terms of the percentage of people who are happy or not happy with the conditions. taking warm or cool drinks modifying the local environment e. literally ‘you cannot please all of the people all of the time’.— Laboratory based studies: based on experimental work carried out in a special laboratory or climate chamber. hot. warm. However it is often impossible to achieve 100% satisfaction i. It is based on the observation that people. The term percentage persons dissatisfied (PPD) is intended to represent the way a large number of people would judge their feeling of comfort within the space so could be thought of as the predicted percentage of persons who would be dissatisfied with a particular condition.) This has led to the adaptive approach to thermal comfort. given both the time and the opportunity. or adding a blanket. to the likely level of occupant comfort.) Field studies: based on surveys asking building occupants about their feelings of comfort. These include: — being more active if cold to raise the metabolic rate. — — — — CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 15 . by moving out of the sunshine or moving to a different room.e. closing a blind or switching the heating on changing the environment e. PO Fanger(4) carried out much research using this approach and used the terms PMV (predicted mean vote) and PPD (predicted percentage dissatisfied) to predict acceptable comfort conditions. or conversely resting in hot conditions changing to warmer or cooler clothing. humidity. slightly warm. cool and cold) of a large group of people who are all exposed to the same environment and have the same clothing level and activity. and given clothing and activity levels. or by going outside or to a different building. slightly cool. neutral. The adaptive approach to comfort The adaptive approach(5) to comfort has been developed from field studies of people in their daily life and aims to provide guidance that is relevant to ordinary living conditions. (See Appendix B for further information.g.g. See CIBSE Guide A(1) section 1.g. with the aim of establishing how comfort expectations vary with different climates and internal conditions. and air speed).6 for further discussion on the adaptive approach and field studies of thermal comfort. People adapt to changed conditions in various ways. with the aim of relating given space conditions (such as temperature.
has only recently been included in comfort standards such as ASHRAE(6) and CIBSE(1). however the occupants also make changes to adapt to the changes in temperature. 1768. and excessively on moderate motion. When the heating or air conditioning is operational then a building is not free-running . when all motion is painful. 1769. as discussed in the next section. non-air conditioned UK buildings are in the free-running mode in summer. (See Appendix B and CIBSE Guide A section 1. 2. the skin dry. 1771. and the head seems more than ordinary large and light. This is largely because the current need to reduce carbon emissions and the drive towards more holistic approaches has led to increased interest in naturally ventilated buildings rather than closely controlled air conditioned ones. As such. and ways of moderating the environment to achieve comfort for the occupants. with thin or little clothing. Adaptation strategies form part of this new approach. For naturally ventilated buildings or free-running modes*. but not in winter. Discomfort will occur where temperatures: — — — — change too fast for adaptation to take place are outside normally accepted limits are unexpected are outside individual control. I call it extreme hot. has assumed that cooling is available. in some situations such as at work. As a result the temperature people find comfortable indoors also changes with the outdoor temperature. whilst very obvious to many. it is not always possible to take all potential actions to improve comfort due for example to constraints of work dress code or lack of control such as non-openable windows. without resorting to complex solutions such as air conditioning.6 for further discussion.Obviously. This.6 How hot is too hot? What is hot? “I call it hot. I call it excessive hot. a disposition to faint comes on. denotes death at hand…” James Bruce — Travels to Discover the Sources of the Nile. in the years. sweats much. when a man in his shirt. 1772 and 1773 (London 1804) 16 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort Temperatures in summer in buildings that are not air conditioned will vary with the weather. though at rest. sweats excessively. at rest. 1770. when the strength fails. a straightness is found in temples. the adaptive approach to comfort indicates that higher * Free-running can be defined as a mode of operation of a building rather than a specific building type. including previous CIBSE guidance. when a man sweats at rest. I apprehend. such as non-air conditioned buildings operating in summer. when a man. Certainly experience shows that people do adapt to changed conditions over time and a temperature that may feel uncomfortably warm in a sudden short hot spell in April may be quite acceptable during warm weather in July. the design guidance has not been applicable to buildings without cooling or air conditioning systems under summertime operation. as if a small cord was drawn round the head. have become necessary. A building is free-running when it is not using energy for heating or cooling. Thus. The concept of adaptability. typically. I call it very hot.) Much of the available design guidance on comfort temperatures. For these buildings intrinsically conditions will vary more. and the knees feel feeble as if after a fever. the voice impaired.
related to the likelihood of discomfort. It then becomes the responsibility of the building owner/operator to recognise this situation and to act to minimise the length and severity of any discomfort.6. Further guidance on the application of the adaptive approach to naturally ventilated offices is given in Guide A section 1. usually expressed as a designated numbers of hours or a percentage of the annual occupied period. 25 ºC is generally an acceptable summer indoor operative temperature in non-air conditioned offices. as discussed above. When the benchmark temperature is exceeded the building is said to have ‘overheated’ and if this occurs for more than the designated amount of time the building is said to suffer from ‘overheating’. Between 25 ºC and 28 ºC an increasing number of people may feel hot and uncomfortable. which may require thermal modelling.1 Summer overheating criteria It is not only the value of the peak temperature but also the length of time that temperatures remain high that can lead to discomfort. Research shows that. 2. Summer thermal performance is usually measured against a benchmark temperature. but there had been little to say at what point this becomes uncomfortably hot in summer for buildings in the UK.6. with few people feeling uncomfortable. which should not be exceeded for more than a certain length of time.2 Good practice ways to reduce summer discomfort During hot summers internal temperatures in non-air conditioned buildings may rise above the design temperature and could also rise above the benchmark summer peak temperatures for periods of time. Further discussion and guidance is given in Guide A(1) section 1.internal temperatures may be generally acceptable. After consultation and research. schools and dwellings — for use in design. therefore design should include an assessment of the risk of overheating. CIBSE has produced design guidance in Guide A(1) section 1. Table 1 gives guideline benchmark summer peak temperatures and overheating criteria for three non-air conditioned building types — offices. 188.8.131.52 on peak indoor temperatures and overheating criteria for some non-air conditioned building and room types. during warm summer weather. CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 17 . under normal UK summer time temperature and humidity conditions.4. Indoor operative temperatures that stay at or over 28 ºC for long periods of the day will result in increasing dissatisfaction for the majority of occupants.
Note 2: It is recommended that the overheating criteria be assessed against the CIBSE Design Summer Years (DSYs) using the calculation methods recommended in CIBSE Guide A chapter 5.8 in CIBSE Guide A. It is incumbent upon the designer to ensure that any software used for the purpose of predicting overheating risk is validated for that purpose and operated in accordance with the QA procedures described in Guide A chapter 5. such as opening windows. Offices 28 °C Schools 28 °C Good design practice for non-air conditioned office buildings would normally limit the expected occurrence of operative temperatures above 28 ºC to an agreed percentage of the annual occupied period (such as 1%.g. which may include thermal modelling. 8 am to 6 pm. the cooling effect of local fans can be equivalent to reducing the temperature by around 2 ºC. and allow for 5-. — — — — Indoor operative temperatures of 30 ºC or more are rarely acceptable to office building occupants in the UK. 1% annual occupied hours over 28 °C operative temp. or around 25–30 hours). 18 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort . or moving out of sunny areas flexible working so people can work at more comfortable times. the use of blinds. using the TRY (Test Reference Year) Note 1: It is reasonable to calculate the percentage of occupied hours over a year to reflect true hours of occupation.4 for further information necessary for design) Building type Benchmark summer peak temp / °C Overheating criterion Notes Dwellings: — living areas 28 °C — bedrooms 26 °C 1% annual occupied hours over 28 °C operative temp. e. The DfES BB87 recommends an allowable overheating criterion of 80 occupied hours in a year over an air temperature of 28 °C.or 7-day working as appropriate.(1) Refer to Guide A section 1. Good practice ways to reduce discomfort for occupants of office buildings in hot summer conditions when indoor operative temperatures rise above 25ºC include: — relaxation of formal office dress to encourage individual adaptation to conditions individual control over the thermal environment. where practicable. for example. availability of hot or cool drinks increased air movement.Table 1: Benchmark summer peak temperatures and overheating criteria (Taken from Table 1. 6. 1% annual occupied hours over 28 °C operative temp. 1% annual occupied hours over 26 °C operative temp.
8. and to be aware that the primary purpose of the whole of the rest of the system design is to achieve these requirements efficiently and effectively.7 Design criteria Building designers should aim to provide comfortable conditions for the greatest possible number of occupants and to minimise discomfort. as can be seen from the preceding discussion there is much more to consider for comfort than just these values alone. — — — — It is therefore vital to discuss comfort requirements and priorities at an early stage. Some factors to consider are: — acceptable comfort temperatures will differ between winter and summer operation acceptable comfort temperatures will be different in naturally ventilated or non-air conditioned buildings to those with air conditioning relative humidities in the range 40–70 % RH are generally acceptable the range of comfortable air velocities in the occupied zone is generally 0. This is achieved by considering comfort requirements and setting appropriate design criteria. 21 °C ±1 °C and 50% RH ±10%. and this is discussed in section 2. together with a fresh air supply rate.1 to 0. However. More often some variation is allowed i. innovative or expensive the system it cannot be classified a success if it fails to achieve and maintain the conditions required by the client or building users. which also relates the design guidance to the expected clothing and metabolic CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 19 . Table 2 gives example winter and summer design conditions for thermal comfort for a range of common building types. However complex.5. A typical initial design condition might therefore be written as 21 °C and 50% RH for operative temperature and relative humidity respectively. with 10 litre/s per person of fresh air required. More detailed guidance for a wider range of building and room types is given in CIBSE Guide A(1) Table 1.e.3 m/s conditions will vary within a space. For the thermal environment these would usually be the operative temperature and humidity. Design criteria to achieve comfort conditions in spaces are discussed and set out at the briefing stages of a project and are usually expressed in terms of acceptable values or ranges for the key comfort criteria. However it is also important for everyone to be aware of the constraints on what can be achieved or delivered with building services systems.2.
5 apply to air conditioned buildings.4 and 1. 20 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort Retail department stores small shops supermarkets shopping malls Schools teaching spaces 19–21 21–23 10 19–21 19–21 19–21 12–19 21–23 21–23 21–23 21–25 10 10 10 10 . Higher temperatures may be acceptable if full air conditioning is not present.5 in CIBSE Guide A(1) Refer to this table for guidance for a fuller range of building and room types. as in hot weather conditions internal temperatures are likely to rise above these values. as discussed in section 2.6. The summer comfort temperatures given in Table 2 below and in Guide A Table 1.4. with further guidance given in CIBSE Guide A(1) sections 1. stairs kitchen living rooms Offices conference/ board rooms computer rooms corridors drawing office entrance halls/lobbies general office space open plan toilets 22–23 19–21 19–21 19–21 19–21 21–23 21–23 19–21 23–25 21–23 21–23 21–23 21–23 22–24 22–24 21–23 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 >5 ACH 20–22 17–19 19–24 17–19 22–23 23–25 23–25 21–25 21–23 23–25 15 litre/s 0. and this is discussed further in section 2.6. The adaptive approach to comfort indicates that higher temperatures may be acceptable if full air conditioning is not present. nonair conditioned buildings).4–1 ACH Note 1: ACH stands for air changes per hour Note 2: For design purposes please refer to the full table given in CIBSE Guide A(1). However it is essential to realise that. with further guidance in CIBSE Guide A(1) section 1. and additional information necessary for design.5 apply to air conditioned buildings. For design purposes reference should be made to the full table together with the associated footnotes as given in CIBSE Guide A.6.g. For the free-running mode (e. Table 2: Recommended thermal comfort criteria for some selected building types (Taken from Table 1. in normal operation.rates of occupants to achieve a predicted percentage persons dissatisfied (PPD) of around 5%.) Building/ room type Winter operative Summer operative temp range °C temp range for air conditioned buildings °C Suggested air supply rate l/s per person (unless stated otherwise) Dwellings bathrooms bedrooms halls. Note 3: The summer comfort temperatures above and in CIBSE Guide A Table 1.6. It is therefore necessary to analyse the risk of overheating and aim to minimise the length and severity of any discomfort.4–1 ACH — 60 litre/s 0. it may not be possible to achieve these values under all conditions without the provision of mechanical cooling. Table 3 indicates acceptable values for general summer indoor comfort temperatures for a range of buildings. as discussed in section 2. together with the associated footnotes.
including: — Temperature gradient: warm air rises and cool air sinks which can lead to temperature stratification. Localised conditions: controls are usually placed to reflect a good indication of space temperature but there can be features such as large areas of glazing or heat producing equipment such as a photocopier which can create localised cold radiation.8 Practical issues Establishing the required system performance criteria at the briefing stage is one of the most critical tasks in the design and it is vital that clients and their designers have a thorough understanding of what conditions are required and what can practically be achieved. Although the design brief might give the required internal conditions as specific values.2 for additional information necessary for design. — CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 21 .) Note: In normal operation it may not be possible to achieve these summer comfort temperatures under all conditions without the provision of mechanical cooling. it is important to realise that conditions. This is caused by a number of factors.Building type Dwellings: — living areas — bedrooms Indoor summer comfort temperature / °C Notes Table 3: General summer indoor comfort temperatures for non-air conditioned buildings (Taken from Table 1. Air at floor level can be up to 3 °C cooler than at head level. particularly temperature and air speed.4 for further guidance. 25 °C operative temperature 23 °C operative temperature Assuming warm summer conditions in UK Sleep may be impaired above 24 °C Assuming warm summer conditions in UK Assuming warm summer conditions in UK Assuming warm summer conditions in UK Offices 25 °C operative temperature Retail 25 °C operative temperature Schools 25 °C operative temperature 2. For example the difference between specifying an internal condition of 21 °C±1 °C or a condition of 21 °C±2 °C can have a considerable impact on energy consumption. Refer to this table and to CIBSE Guide A section 1. as shown in Figure 6. and internal temperatures may rise above these values. control choice and system performance. The floor to ceiling temperature gradient with some systems can be much greater. If conditions can be relaxed a little and allowed to vary (within reasonable limits) the system can be simpler and cheaper to install and to operate. solar radiation or excessive warmth.4.7 in CIBSE Guide A(1). See Guide A(1) section 1. The closer the control the more expensive the system. downdraughts. will fluctuate within a space in practice. It is therefore necessary to analyse the risk of overheating and aim to minimise the length and severity of any discomfort.
Room height / m Figure 6: Vertical air temperature gradients for different heating types (Source CIBSE Guide A Figure 5. During this time the temperature can drop a little further below the set point value on the thermostat. Thus the room surfaces can be relatively hot or cool which will affect the radiant temperature in the space and could cause localised conditions. Equally there can be an overshoot when the space is up to temperature. This may not be a problem in well-insulated buildings where the air and radiant temperatures are fairly close in value but can create problems in some situations. Time lag: many building services heating and cooling systems have some inertia and can take a little while to respond to a control signal calling for more heat or more cooling. Equipment limitations: many of the thermostats used to measure room temperature and control the output of heating/cooling systems sense air temperature not operative temperature. or if there is furniture or partitioning for example that affects the room air diffusion from outlets so that there is inadequate mixing or ‘dumping’ of cold air. This will mean that the temperatures in the main part of the occupied zone will vary around the set point value — often by ±2 °C. — — — 22 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort . With the temperature gradient effect the impact over the whole space can be even greater.6) 3·0 Radiator Underfloor heating Warm air heater at high level 2·0 1·0 0 15 20 25 15 20 25 Air temperatures / °C 15 20 25 — Horizontal temperature variations: as well as vertical temperature gradients in a space there can also be horizontal temperature variations due for example to the localised conditions described above. A slow thermal response can also exacerbate the effect of any system time lags. Building thermal response: heavyweight materials and finishes will take longer to respond to a system input of heating or cooling than lightweight ones.
as shown in Figure 6. 26 °C Figure 7: Typical temperature variation in space heated by radiators (Based on diagram from BSRIA AG15/02. Section 5 data) 35 °C 21 °C Occupied zone 18 °C 1 °C Vertical and horizontal temperature gradients can vary considerably within a space Good design will of course minimise variations occurring within the space. which can be both more complex and more expensive. As discussed earlier. CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 23 . but it is impossible to guarantee a fixed and finite value for the internal room conditions. and a humidity of 50% RH ± 10% RH.— System type: some systems can increase temperature stratification. itself based on Guide A. people are adaptable and often do not notice minor variations in temperature. However some equipment or processes can be far more sensitive to fluctuating conditions than the occupants. In the design brief it is therefore usual for a room condition to be specified with some variation. and may require closer control. and will carefully consider the use and layout of each room. for example the temperature gradient within a space heated by radiators can vary considerably as shown below in Figure 7. such as an operative temperature of 21 °C ± 1 °C. or cause local radiant effects which can increase local temperature variations. air movement and humidity.
In order to ‘see well’ there needs to be sufficient light. and in bright sunshine at around 100. a typical brightly lit shop may have 500 lux and sunlight outside has an illuminance of 100. Task illuminance is the amount of light that people need to see well for a particular task. but by night its brightness is high whereas by day its brightness is low. Inside a room daylit by large windows. but looking into the room from the outside. with the appropriate illuminance depending on the task difficulty.5 lux. conditions might allow all objects and surfaces to be viewed comfortably. For example bright moonlight has an illuminance of 0. illuminance and task difficulty. . For example reading newspaper text depends on the contrast of the letters against the white background. when adapted to the bright daylight conditions.e. However. Lamp performance is usually quoted in terms of the lumens it emits and its efficacy in terms of the lumens produced per watt of electrical input energy. The ability to see degrees of detail is mostly determined by size. whereas on a sunny day these lights would be barely noticeable. but not too much. brightness. ‘under-lit’ and ‘well lit’. the incident light level on the surface. Figure 9 shows the general relationship between performance. 3. from simply moving around safely to carrying out some visually demanding activity such as museum restoration work where contrast and colour accuracy are essential. allows people to move around in safety and can also be used for dramatic effect or to create a certain ambiance. as shown by the way we describe lit spaces as variously ‘bright’. For example. For example the moon has a certain luminance.Lighting in a building 3 Visual comfort Lighting in a building has three purposes: — to enable the occupant to work and move about in safety — to enable tasks to be performed correctly and at an appropriate pace — to create a pleasing appearance In any environment it is essential that people can see well to carry out any tasks safely and comfortably. Sufficient light is usually described in terms of the illuminance or the amount of light on the task. measured in lumens/m2 or lux. contrast and how good a person’s eyesight is. ‘gloomy’. as well as on the illuminance – small print may be readable under a bright desk light but may be illegible in a poorly lit corridor. The unit is the candela/m2 Brightness Brightness is generally used to mean the visual sensation associated with luminance (previously called luminosity). the windows will appear black and no internal objects or surfaces will be visible. depending on both the surface reflectivity and the illuminance i. offices with tasks such as reading. The eye can adapt to a wide range of lighting conditions. For example.000 lux. their sharpness and the size of the text (see Figure 8).000 lux. Very bright sources in the field of view cause glare which can cause visual discomfort or disability. ‘dull’. 24 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort Interior lighting therefore has to provide several functions: it allows work tasks to be performed.5 lux. writing and computer use require a task illuminance of between 300 and 500 lux. Different tasks require different illuminances depending on the degree of task difficulty. at around 0. However. and a 36 W fluorescent tubular lamp emits around 3000 lm. It is the physical measurement of the stimulus which produces the sensation of brightness. headlines in a newspaper can be read both under moonlight. At night the headlights of an oncoming car will dazzle someone who has adapted to the night-time darkness. the eye cannot adapt to the whole of this range at one time. Luminance Luminance is a measure of what the eye actually sees and is related to the amount of light reflected from the surface. with adequate. Illuminance This is the amount of light reaching a surface and is measured in lumens /m2 or lux.1 Key environmental factors Light flux This is the rate of flow of luminous energy and is measured in lumens (lm). A typical domestic 60 W incandescent lamp (light bulb) emits around 700 lm. subjective response to a space depends on more factors than task illuminance alone.
whether warm or cool. whether all at high level or a combination of background and task lighting. modelling: whether objects are perceived as three-dimensional i. — — — Other factors that affect visual comfort are: — — — — non-uniformity veiling reflections and highlights shadows flicker.e. glare: good lighting design should reduce or eliminate glare (see below) which can be caused by very bright light or by excessive dazzle or reflection.e.Good lighting design needs to consider both the quantity and quality of light. the light level. and the colour rendering i. some variation in shadow. Figure 9: Easy task Task performance Visual performance with respect to task difficulty and task illuminance (Source: GPG 272: Lighting for people. and improvements to these can make an important contribution to improved visual performance. distribution of light: luminaire type.000 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort Illuminance (lux) 25 . contrast: to allow task detail to be clearly seen – such as reading print or information from a computer screen. how colours appear in that light. energy efficiency and architecture) Difficult task 10 100 1000 10. i. contrast and task size on visual performance (Source SLL Code for lighting) Factors relating to quality include: — colour: both the colour of the light itself.e. Factors relating to quantity include: — — illuminance: the amount of light reaching a surface. Figure 8: The effect of lighting. spacing and layout.
Non-uniformity This is where there is excessive difference between the maximum and minimum light levels so the eye has problems in adapting to the change in light levels. where vision is impaired by excessive dazzle from a bright light source or reflection such as light reflecting from a glossy surface or from water (see Figure 11) discomfort glare. for example. for example moving indoors after being out in bright sunshine. can cause glare both as a direct light source or by reflection in. — These two types of glare can occur simultaneously or separately. 26 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort . Figure 10: Examples of direct and reflected glare (Source GPG 272: Lighting for people. where visual discomfort is caused by very bright light such as direct sunlight or bright lamps (see Figure 12).Glare Bright light sources in the field of view. such as a sunlit window or a bright lamp. energy efficiency and architecture) Direct Reflected Direct Reflected Glare can have two effects: — disability glare. a computer screen (see Figure 10).
However. although excessively bright highlights could potentially cause a glare or veiling reflection problem. Highlights are areas of increased luminance in a space. Flicker Flicker is sustained instability in light output. as discussed above. However some shadows can help to reveal form and show objects as three-dimensional i. with the highest levels only for the immediate task area and lower levels as appropriate for the surrounding areas and lower still for circulation areas. Shadows Larger area shadows are simply a reduction in illuminance and are caused by inadequate light distribution and/or by large objects obstructing the light. headaches and fatigue. Further design guidance is given in the Society of Light and Lighting Code for lighting (2004) and Lighting Guide LG7: Office Lighting. They may well improve the visual conditions.5. These include the need to provide adequate illuminance with good colour rendering and glare control. with the elderly requiring higher light levels.2 Design criteria Figure 11: Disability glare from bright sky in front of a VDT makes the screen difficult to read. many other factors need to be considered as part of design in order to create a comfortable visual environment.Veiling reflections and highlights Veiling reflections occur when there is reflection of a light source in a shiny surface which reduces visibility by reducing luminance contrast. Consideration must also be given to the occupancy profile. 3.8. for example age is relevant to lighting requirements. caused by the control gear of some lamp types. Localised shadows can reduce visibility and be confusing. Required lighting illuminances should always be related to the task. and in CIBSE Guide A section 1. Figure 13: Effect of veiling reflections from electric lighting on a VDT screen (Source SLL Code for lighting) CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 27 . For design purposes reference should be made to the full table together with the associated footnotes as given in Guide A. and can cause eyestrain. whilst avoiding sharp shadows. for example the reflection of a light on the glossy surface of some printed pages or on a computer or television screen (see Figure 13).e. sudden large changes in luminance and excessively bright and frequent highlights. modelling. sometimes used as lighting accents for effect. (Source SLL Code for lighting) Figure 12: Discomfort glare from bright lights (Source SLL Code for lighting) Lighting design criteria are usually given in terms of a maintained illuminance for various different building and room types (see Table 4 below for examples). More detailed guidance on lighting design criteria for a wider range of building and room types is given in CIBSE Guide A(1) Table 1.
stairs — kitchen — living rooms Offices — conference/board rooms 300–500 — computer rooms — corridors — drawing office — entrance halls/lobbies — general office space — open plan — toilets Retail — department stores 300 for circulation areas Note: higher lighting levels will be required at checkouts and tills and for display lighting 500 100 750 200 300–500 300–500 200 150 100 100 150–300 50–300 Study bedrooms require 150 lux at desk — small shops — supermarkets Note: For design purposes please refer to the full table given in CIBSE Guide A(1) together with the associated footnotes. Refer to this table for guidance for a fuller range of building and room types.Table 4: Recommended lighting design criteria (Taken from Table 1. Note 2: Lighting levels should be appropriate to the immediate task area — shopping malls Schools — teaching spaces 300 for circulation areas 400 for circulation areas 50–300 300 Maintained illuminance Maintained illuminance is the average illuminance over the reference surface at the time maintenance has to be carried out by replacing lamps and/or cleaning the equipment and room surfaces 28 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort .5 in CIBSE Guide A.) Building/room type Maintained Illuminance (lux) at the appropriate working plane or height Notes Dwellings — bathrooms — bedrooms — halls. and additional information necessary for design.
There are three main potential problems: — — annoyance: where the noise is noticeable and can affect concentration masking: where the noise effectively covers or masks another wanted sound. i. which can cause instant hearing damage. The sensitivity of the ear varies with both frequency and sound pressure level (see Figure 14). Sound is an aural sensation caused by pressure variations in the air. for example speech can become masked by road traffic or machinery noise causing interference to speech intelligibility hearing damage: where the noise is loud enough to cause temporary or even permanent hearing damage. produced by some source of vibration. As hearing response is non-linear and we are more sensitive to certain CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 29 . — Because the sound pressure level hearing range gives a very inconvenient scale. up to 200 N/m2. Noise can affect people in different ways depending on its level. called the decibel (dB). with no unwanted sounds (noise) or vibration. and rapid pressure fluctuations a high pitched sound. Frequency The frequency of a sound is the number of vibrations or pressure fluctuations per second and is measured in hertz (Hz) Sound pressure Sound pressure levels are the pressures caused by a sound vibration and are measured in N/m2. Sound pressure level: sound pressures detectable by the hearing system vary from 2 × 10–5 N/m2. The sensitivity of the ear can be represented by the curves of equal loudness shown in Figure 14. — Frequency: the human hearing system responds to frequencies in the range 20 Hz to 20. which we ‘hear’ when these are sensed by the ear.000 Hz. Sound is a vibration or pressure wave that moves through a suitable medium such as air or structure at a frequency and intensity that can be detected by the human ear. with the precise range differing from person to person.e.4 Acoustic comfort (aural comfort) Noise The main requirement for acoustic comfort is for a sufficiently ‘quiet’ environment to enable the task to be carried out comfortably and without distraction. We are less sensitive to low and high frequencies than to mid-range frequencies. Slow pressure fluctuations cause a very low sound. and hearing ability at high frequencies tends to diminish with age. varying from simple annoyance to actual hearing damage. which have been derived by subjective experiments. and because the ear responds in a way that is not directly proportional to the value of pressure. which is the quietest sound it is normally possible to hear (hearing threshold). Noise can be defined simply as ‘unwanted sound’ — Sound However an excessively quiet environment can also cause problems as some background noise is useful to ensure a degree of privacy. a different scale is used to measure sound level that can be related to our response to sounds.
usually a frequency weighted decibel scale is used to measure sound levels. with the most common being the A-weighting – dBA. Sound levels in dBA can be measured using a sound level meter incorporating an A-weighting network. 4. This therefore contains less information about the original sound than if the values at various frequencies had been quoted. Sound from an external noise source can therefore enter a building not only through open windows but also through any cracks and gaps in the structure. or anything that can cause an impact such as footsteps on hard floors. using a logarithmic scale to relate the sound pressure level to a base sound pressure level at the hearing threshold frequencies. Even very small gaps and cracks can have a large detrimental effect on the ability of an element to reduce sound transmission.15) 120 100 80 60 40 20 0 Threshold of hearing continuous noise 120 Loudness level (phon) 110 100 90 80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 20 50 100 500 1000 Frequency / Hz 5000 10000 Decibel scale Decibels (dB) are a measure of sound pressure level. Internal noise can carry through a space and can also be transferred through false ceiling voids and through ventilation ductwork.Sound pressure level / dB re. or re-radiated on the other side into air borne sound. Structure-borne sound: where vibration travels through solid structure and is ‘felt’ (although we still usually interpret this as a ‘sound’). Causes include machinery. Where a single figure value is quoted in dBA the behaviour of the sound at various frequencies has been considered using the A weighting to produce a single figure. — 30 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort . 20 µN·m–3 Figure 14: Equal loudness contours (Source CIBSE Guide A(1) Figure 1. For example the A-weighting reduces the impact of low frequency sound significantly as the ear is less sensitive to these frequencies.1 Key environmental factors There are two ways sound can reach us (see Figure 15): — Airborne sound: where the sound travels mainly. through the air and is heard by the ear. The dBA measure is often used as an indicator of human subjective reactions to noise across the full audible frequency range. but not exclusively. The amount of noise transmitted is not directly proportional to the size of opening.
Other ways to reduce noise depend on the method of sound transmission. Similarly noise transfer between rooms can be reduced by the use of acoustic baffles. by stopping noise transmission routes. Double leaf partitions can provide enhanced sound insulation if the two leaves are sufficiently isolated. — — Structure borne noise reduction is achieved by isolating the source of vibration so that the sound cannot be transmitted. Thus a single leaf brick wall will give substantially more insulation than a single leaf lightweight partition. For example a reduction in the transmission of fan noise along a ductwork system is achieved by the use of a silencer (attenuator) in the air handling unit which absorbs some of the noise generated by the fan. so for example even small air gaps around a window or door will allow external noise to enter. and by absorbing sound along a transfer route: — Mass: the greater the mass the larger the insulation provided as this effectively dampens the sound and stops it being transmitted. For good sound insulation construction must therefore be complete and avoid cracks and gaps Absorption: absorbing sound en route by the use of sound absorbent materials.Airborne sound can also enter the room via a ventilation duct Airborne sound travels through the air via an open window or other route Figure 15: Airborne and structure-borne sound Sound travels through the structure as vibration The most effective and the most obvious way to reduce noise is to stop the noise at source. For example noisy machinery can be mounted on anti-vibration mountings – which work in the same way as CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 31 . acoustic linings in ducts etc. Airborne noise reduction can be achieved by the use of mass to insulate from the noise. as follows. however this is often not feasible. Completeness: air paths through any structure will allow sound transmission. or a false ceiling can allow noise transfer between rooms.
2 Design criteria Various criteria are used to specify acceptable sound levels for the acoustic environment giving sound level in decibels (dB) against sound frequencies.9.5. For further guidance on the reduction of noise see CIBSE Guide A(1) sections 1. Noise rating (NR) curves (see Figure 16) are used by CIBSE to indicate acceptable building services noise levels for varying building and room types. they may be regarded as reasonably interchangeable.9 and CIBSE Guide B(3) chapter 5.e. as long as there are no spectrum irregularities at low and high frequencies. with the two most common for building services being: — — noise rating (NR) curves noise criteria (NC) curves.car shock absorbers to dampen the transmission of vibration. using the rule of thumb that: NR ≈ dBA – 6. and in CIBSE Guide A section 1. Table 5 below gives some typical design NR values to indicate acceptable noise levels for varying building and room types. NR curves are commonly used in Europe for specifying noise levels from mechanical services in order to control the character of the noise. it should be noted that NR is not recognised by the International Standards Organisation or similar standardisation bodies. 4. The shape and form of the room and the surface finishes. Measured values of the noise spectrum in dBA can be compared with these reference curves to check that appropriate conditions are met. Another way is by ‘fire’ breaks i. 32 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort . NR and NC curves are very close at middle frequencies and. For design purposes reference should be made to the full table together with the associated footnotes as given in CIBSE Guide A(1). hard or soft. all affect whether sounds reflect and give a reverberant effect or are deadened. as shown in Table 5. as well as the furniture.10 and CIBSE Guide B(3) chapter 5. More detailed guidance on acoustic design criteria for a wider range of building and room types is given in CIBSE Guide A(1) Table 1. gaps that the vibration cannot bridge or by the use of different materials with better attenuation characteristics. Within a space sound is affected by the room acoustics.9 and 1. However. For further guidance on room acoustics see CIBSE Guide A section A1. Noise criteria (NC) curves are similar to NR but less stringent at high frequencies and more stringent at low frequencies.
together with the associated footnotes.100 90 Figure 16: Noise rating (NR) curves (source: CIBSE Guide A(1) Figure 1. stairs — kitchen — living rooms Offices: — conference/board rooms — computer rooms — corridors — drawing office — entrance halls/lobbies — general office space — open plan — toilets Retail: — department stores — small shops — supermarkets — shopping malls Schools: — teaching spaces 25–35 35–40 35–40 40–45 40–50 25–30 35–45 40 35–45 35–40 35 35 35–45 — 25 — 40–45 30 Table 5: Recommended acoustic design criteria (Taken from Table 1. Refer to this table for guidance for a fuller range of building and room types. CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 33 .) Note: For design purposes please refer to the full table given in CIBSE Guide A.17) 80 NR Octave-band sound pressure level / dB 70 NR 65 55 60 NR 50 NR 45 35 40 NR 30 NR 25 15 20 10 0 0 16 31·5 63 125 250 500 1k 2k 4k 8k Octave-band centre frequency / Hz Building/room type Noise rating (NR) Dwellings: — bathrooms — bedrooms — halls. and additional information necessary for design.5 in CIBSE Guide A(1).
and leave some uncontrolled.5 Key questions Key questions to consider. The decision to let internal conditions vary within wider limits. Involving the final users in the consultation process also provides useful information on design priorities and key issues. are: Comfort criteria Q. or warmer internal temperatures. is a fundamental one and will need to be considered as part of the main decision process (see below). User satisfaction surveys of the current environment related to the tasks required can provide much useful data to inform the design brief for a new building. or to discuss with them. The acceptable variation in internal space conditions versus the level of control required Q. in advance. How happy are you to let the internal environmental conditions vary? Are conditions that will vary within a space during the course of a day and over the year acceptable. and to what degree? The tighter the level of 34 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort . elderly or infirm may require different comfort conditions – such as higher lighting levels. in order to provide information to your consultants. What factors are important to you and to the building users in order to achieve the required comfortable and productive environment? Given that this is the fundamental outcome required from the design process then it is important to get it as ‘right’ as possible. Type of building Q. Is the intent to design for a naturally ventilated rather than a highly serviced building? If the initial approach is to consider a building that will require less in the way of complex services such as air conditioning then this has fundamental implications for both the building design and for the internal comfort conditions that will be achievable in the building. Who will be the main users of the building? Some user populations such as the young. Building users Q.
particularly in summer? Allowing some flexibility for occupants to adapt to hotter conditions can improve individual levels of comfort and increase satisfaction with internal environmental conditions.5 °C is a lot more expensive than ±1 °C or even ±1. quite large variations in humidity are often acceptable. whether the primary users are people or equipment and the consequences of temperature or humidity variation — some electronic equipment or industrial processes can be more sensitive than people. task lighting. for example ±0. as very few buildings require control to within ±5% relative humidity. Occupant control Q. How much do you want the occupants to be able to vary their local conditions? Increased occupant control can give improved occupant satisfaction with the internal environmental conditions.5 °C for control of internal spaces. for example higher temperatures in summer. Adaptation to conditions Q. commonly by 2-3 °C. Occupants will normally tolerate a relative humidity range between 40–70%. can also provide acceptable conditions and energy savings. Are you willing to make provision to allow adaptation to changing environmental conditions. Allowing seasonal variations. particularly in naturally ventilated or non-air conditioned buildings. Consider the use of the space. adjustable window blinds and/or thermostatic radiator valves or it can be far more complex with individually switched lights and dimmers and localised sensing and control of some types of air conditioning and heating systems. This will require adequate plant zoning and can mean more controls are required.control the more expensive the system. particularly in naturally ventilated or nonair conditioned buildings. local desk fans. Is humidity control required at all? If it is required for occupation. although a greater variation is often acceptable. It is normally acceptable to allow space conditions to float. localised fans etc. provision of hot and cool drinks. This could include flexible working hours. some relaxation in formal office dress. Consider whether you want to link the operation of the lighting to the availability of daylight and/or the pattern of occupancy. although in winter some humidification may be required to achieve this when the outside air is very cold to ensure spaces do not get too dry and cause discomfort such as dry eyes and throat. Where local control is CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 35 . Localised control can be as simple as openable windows..
such as a computer room? The fact that some areas may require closer control of conditions and necessitate more complex systems does not necessarily mean that this approach is needed for the whole building. It is important to consider the differing needs of different areas and different occupants rather than go for a ‘one size fits all’ approach. (Further information on controls issues can be found in CIBSE Knowledge Series KS4: Understanding controls.provided for any system. For example the comfort needs of staff manning the information desk in an out-of-town retail ‘shed’ who have to stay in a fixed location are very different from those of the transient customers who can move location and thus move away from hot spots or draughty areas.) 36 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort . These issues impact on the zoning strategy for the building which needs to be considered at a very early stage of the design process. such as manual switching or overrides etc. Use of the building Q. Are there any areas in the building that require different conditions? Are there some areas with different hours of occupancy. or with different requirements. accessibility and understanding of function are both important and need to be considered.
the instrument will take some time to settle. but it has been estimated that the optimum diameter for the sphere of such a thermometer to sense operative temperature to be about 40 mm (similar to that of a table tennis ball). The operative temperature for the space can be taken as the average of the readings. Figure 17: 40mm globe thermometer Temperature sensor should be at centre of sphere 40 mm CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 37 . is not suitable for measuring operative temperature if the radiant temperature differs greatly from the air temperature. The thermometer should be suspended or clamped. A suitable thermometer can be made by inserting a temperature sensor (electronic or liquid-in-glass) into a suitable 40 mm sphere (such as a table tennis ball). allowing multiple readings to be taken in different locations in the space over a period of 30 minutes or so. The 40mm globe thermometer (see Figure 17) is an instrument that combines the effects of air and radiant temperature in a similar way to the response of a human subject. with a grey or black-painted surface. and not held in the hand. Spheres of various diameters have been used for globe thermometers(7) in the past. The temperature measured at the centre will approximate the mean temperature of the enclosing sphere. The thermometer should fit closely through the sphere. in places representative of the occupied area — such as on the working plane — but out of direct sunlight. The surface of the sphere should be painted grey or black to approximate the reflectivity of the clothed human body to any diffuse solar radiation reflected from the room surfaces. It is essentially an integrating sphere (made of metal or plastic) whose temperature will approximate the operative temperature. This will be particularly important if the temperature is changing.Appendix A: Measuring operative temperature An ordinary thermometer. liquid-in-glass or digital. To assess the operative temperature of a space several readings of the thermometer should be taken. This means that from 5 to 20 minutes may need to elapse before taking the final reading. so it may be useful to have two or more identical thermometers. Depending on the thermal capacity of the sphere and of the sensor itself. to prevent the exchange of air between its interior and the room. Each time the thermometer is moved it needs time to stabilise. The sensor should be at the centre of the sphere.
metabolic rate and sweat rate at different combinations of environmental conditions. Laboratory studies — B1 In analytical laboratory-based studies the conditions are controlled.9). Over a number of surveys the aim is to find a link between certain combinations of the environmental variables and the responses gathered. Some initial work on thermal indices was carried out during the 1920s. and relates these to the subjects’ feeling of warmth to find any relationship. The aim is to find a specific relationship for thermal comfort that relates metabolic rate. with the insulation value of the clothing known. clothing level and environmental conditions. The majority of subsequent research on thermal comfort in buildings has taken one of two main approaches: — laboratory based studies: based on experimental work carried out in a special laboratory or climate chamber field studies: based on surveys in the field asking people about their feelings of comfort. B2 Field studies Table 6 Comfort scales ASHRAE thermal sensation scale(6) +3 Hot +2 Warm +1 Slightly warm 0 Neutral Bedford scale Much too warm Too warm Comfortably warm Comfortable neither warm nor cool Comfortably cool Too cool Much too cool –1 Slightly cool –2 Cool –3 Cold 38 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort In empirical field studies the conditions are left to vary as they normally would and the people carry out their normal activities. for example by using a climate chamber.Appendix B: Thermal comfort studies The thermal interaction between people and their environment is highly complex and has been the subject of a great deal of study. with some major studies by Bedford(10) in 1936 and continuing over the next 20 years. People are asked to rate their subjective feelings of thermal comfort on a seven-point descriptive scale such as the ASHRAE or the Bedford scales. . humidity and air velocity can be accurately controlled and set to specific combinations. The researcher then measures the environmental conditions at the time of the survey. such as temperature. see Table 6. dressed as they choose. People in the chamber are monitored to measure factors such as skin temperature. A climate chamber is in effect a laboratory room where the environmental conditions such as temperature. involving not only a study of human physiology and mechanisms of heat transfer but also a study of our psychological responses to the environment and consideration of the social factors which can also determine the way we react to the environment(8. humidity etc. and with different specific clothing levels.
B3 Deterministic methods Fanger(4) used deterministic methods to develop comfort temperature thresholds. to the likely level of occupant comfort adaptive methods: which are based on the outcome of occupancy surveys and aim to capture the variations in comfort expectations with different climates. people would be saying things like ‘I am pretty comfortable’ while when ‘8 out of 10 satisfied’ the feeling would be one of ‘slightly cool’ or ‘slightly warm’. humidity.) The graph. However it is often impossible to achieve 100% satisfaction i. such as that given in Table 6. in terms of temperature. around 10% will be dissatisfied. of a large group of people who are all exposed to the same environment and have the same clothing level and activity. at a fixed humidity level and with low air movement. on average. The term PPD is intended to represent the way a large number of people would judge their feeling of comfort within the space so could be thought of as the predicted percentage of persons who would be dissatisfied with a particular condition.e. but broadly comfortable. Only at the extremes of the graph in Figure 18 would people. PMV and PPD can be related such that a PMV of ±0. at the extremes of the ASHRAE or Bedford scales.g. Fanger uses two terms to predict acceptable comfort conditions: PMV (predicted mean vote) and PPD (predicted percentage dissatisfied).e.3 for further discussion of the application of this in practice. say they are ‘hot’ or ‘cold’. (See CIBSE Guide A(1) section 1. literally ‘you cannot please all of the people all of the time’.These two research approaches have led to two different approaches to specifying comfort conditions: — deterministic methods: which relate given space conditions. and given clothing and activity levels. — The level of thermal comfort or discomfort in both types of model is often expressed in terms of the percentage of people who are happy or not happy with the conditions.e. overleaf relates the predicted percentage of persons dissatisfied against indoor temperatures for different clothing levels. and air speed. This graph also illustrates that where people are able to adjust their clothing to adapt to conditions then they can be reasonably comfortable over a wide CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 39 . Figure 18. e.5 (where +1 is slightly warm and –1 is slightly cool) relates to a PPD of 10% i. Furthermore at the level of ‘9 out of 10 satisfied’. and these form the basis of the International Standard for comfort in office spaces(11). i. The PMV is the mean value of the votes on a comfort scale.
Adaptation strategies form part of this new approach. it is not always possible to take all potential actions to improve comfort due for example to constraints of work dress code or lack of control such as non-openable windows. have become necessary. See CIBSE Guide A(1) section 1. As such this provides a link between the deterministic research done by Fanger and the adaptive approach of other researchers. do take various actions in order to adapt to their environment and achieve thermal comfort. in some situations such as at work. It is based on the observation that people. The concept of adaptability. from involuntary mechanisms such as shivering or sweating to voluntary ones such as changing their activity or their clothing or closing a window blind.6 for further discussion on the adaptive approach and field studies of thermal comfort. given both the time and the opportunity. For these buildings intrinsically conditions will vary more. People adapt to changed conditions in various ways. without resorting to complex solutions such as air conditioning. whilst very obvious to many. This is largely because the current need to reduce carbon emissions and the drive towards more holistic approaches has led to increased interest in naturally ventilated buildings rather than closely controlled air conditioned ones. and ways of moderating the environment to achieve comfort for the occupants. but takes a more behavioural approach. Unlike the deterministic approach the adaptive approach does not require knowledge of the clothing level and the metabolic rate of occupants in order to establish the temperature required for thermal comfort. B4 Adaptive methods The adaptive approach(13) to comfort has been developed from field studies of people in their daily life and aims to provide guidance that is relevant to ordinary living conditions. 40 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort .3(15)) 80 70 60 50 40 30 9 out of 10 satisfied 20 10 0 20 22 24 26 Temperature / C 28 30 8 out of 10 satisfied Light summer dress Two piece suit No jacket Heavy woollen suit range of temperatures. has only recently been included in comfort standards such as ASHRAE(6) and CIBSE(1). Obviously.Predicted percentage persons dissatisfied Figure 18: Deterministic comfort model (after Fanger(11)) — Effect of clothing level on comfort temperatures (source: CIBSE TM36 Figure 3.
Indoor comfort temperature.1(15)) Figure 20 shows the relationship between indoor comfort temperatures for offices and the outdoor running mean temperature as given for the UK in CIBSE Guide A(1) section 1. T / °C 34 32 30 28 26 24 22 20 18 16 14 9 out of 10 satisfied 8 out of 10 satisfied 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 Mean monthly outdoor air temperature / °C 40 Figure 19: Adaptive comfort model (after ASHRAE(6)) (source: CIBSE TM36 Figure 3. is recommended as more appropriate than a monthly mean. Figures 19 and 20 below show both approaches. however the occupants also make changes to adapt to the changes in temperature. In the USA the relationship between indoor comfort and outdoor temperature has usually been expressed in terms of the average monthly outdoor temperature(6. Guidance on comfortable indoor temperatures for naturally ventilated buildings may therefore be related to the outdoor temperature. with more recent experience being more important. As adaptive theory suggests that people respond and adapt on the basis of their thermal experience. a running mean of outdoor temperatures.13). Certainly experience shows that people do adapt to changed conditions over time and as a result the temperature people find comfortable indoors also changes with the outdoor temperature. Figure 19 shows the relationship between indoor comfort temperature and average monthly external temperature as given in ASHRAE Standard 552004(6) Comfort thresholds for both too warm and too cool are shown for levels of 10% and 20% PPD i.12.6. 90% and 80% satisfied. In the UK a running mean of outdoor temperature is used as research(14) shows that UK weather can give considerable variations of outdoor temperature at much shorter than monthly intervals.e. CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 41 .Temperatures in summer in buildings that are not air conditioned will vary with the weather. Bands of comfort temperatures are shown with the lines giving the upper and lower limits for the indoor temperature to avoid a rise in discomfort. weighted according to their distance in the past. Two slightly different approaches have been used for this.
So if there has been a recent hot spell that will have more effect than the cooler temperatures earlier in the month giving a higher value than a straight average would do. a working environment with temperatures in the range of around 20 °C to 28 °C will be broadly acceptable to most people.5 °C.3.The outdoor weighted running mean temperature basically considers daily mean temperatures over the past week or two but gives more emphasis to the recent temperatures over the past few days. giving an upper band limit of around 27. provided they are dressed appropriately.6.2 and 2.1. air speed. For further discussion and relevant calculation approaches for this see CIBSE Guide A(1) section 1. Figure 20: Bands of comfort temperatures in offices related to the running mean temperature (source: CIBSE Guide A(1) Figure 1. air quality and humidity. In the UK the running mean outdoor temperature rarely exceeds 20 °C. The degree of comfort within these bands is affected by other factors such as the amount of radiant heat from the sun and surrounding surfaces. as discussed in sections 2.9) 30 Free-running upper limit Free-running lower limit Heated or cooled upper limit Heated or cooled lower limit Indoor limiting temperature / °C 28 26 24 22 20 18 0 5 10 15 20 Outdoor running mean temperature / °C 25 Looking at both the deterministic approach and the adaptive approach it can be seen that there is broad agreement that.4. 42 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort .
London (1995) Nicol F Thermal comfort: a handbook of field studies toward an adaptive model (London: University of East London) (1993) Bedford T The warmth factor in comfort at work (London: HMSO) (1936) ISO 7730 Moderate thermal environments. Determination of the PMV and PPD indices and specification of the conditions for thermal comfort (Geneva: International Standards Organisation) (1994) de Dear R and Brager G Thermal Comfort in Naturally Ventilated Buildings Revisions to ASHRAE Standard 55 Energy and Buildings 34 (6) 549–561) (2002) Brager and De Dear Thermal adaptation in the built environment Energy and Buildings (1998) McCartney K J and Nicol J F Developing an Adaptive Control Algorithm for Europe: Results of the SCATs Project Energy and Buildings 34 (6) 623–635) (2002) Climate change and the internal environment CIBSE TM36 (London: Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) (2005) 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort 43 . USA: American Society of Heating. Refrigerating and air conditioning Engineers) (2004) Humphreys M A The Optimum diameter for a globe thermometer for use indoors Ann. Workplace Comfort Forum. ventilating. Occupational Hygiene 20 (2) 135–140) Leaman A and Bordass B Comfort and Complexity: Unmanageable Bedfellows? Proc. air conditioning and refrigeration CIBSE Guide B (London: Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) (2005) Fanger PO Thermal comfort: Analysis and applications in environmental engineering (McGraw Hill) (1970) Humphreys M A and Nicol J F Understanding the adaptive approach to thermal comfort ASHRAE Trans.References 1 Environmental design CIBSE Guide A (London: Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) (2006) Control of Substances Hazardous to Health Regulations 1994 (COSHH) (London: The Stationary Office) (1994) Heating. 18-19 May 1995. 104(1) 991–1004) Thermal environmental conditions for human occupancy ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 (Atlanta.
co. Humphreys M.html Brager G and de Dear R Thermal adaptation in the built environment Energy and Buildings (1998) The illustrated guide to mechanical building services BSRIA AG 15/2002 (Bracknell: Building Services Research and Information Association) (2002) Bedford T Basic principles of ventilation and heating (London: HK Lewis) (1964) Lawrence Race G Understanding Controls CIBSE Knowledge Series KS3 (London: Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) (2005) Lighting for people.learn.londonmet.uk/packages/mulcom/index. present and future (Watford: Building Research Establishment) (1993) Jones WP Air Conditioning Engineering ch. Sykes O and Roaf S Standards for thermal comfort (London: Spon) (1995) Oseland N and Humphreys M Thermal comfort: Past.uk) Code for lighting (London: Society for Light and Lighting) (2004) Office Lighting SLL Lighting Guide LG7 (London: Society for Light and Lighting) (2005) 44 CIBSE Knowledge Series – Comfort . energy efficiency and architecture GPG 272 (The Carbon Trust) (www.ac. 4 (Butterworth Heinemann) (2001) Mulcom A teaching package about buildings and comfort can be downloaded from: www.thecarbontrust.Further reading Environmental design CIBSE Guide A (London: Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers) (2006) Fanger PO Thermal comfort: Analysis and applications in environmental engineering (McGraw Hill) (1970) Humphreys M Thermal comfort temperatures and the habits of hobbits in Nicol F.
org WEBSITE: www.org CIBSE is a Registered Charity No 278104 .cibse.CONTACT US AT: The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers 222 Balham High Road London SW12 9BS Membership Enquiries: 020 8772 3650 Events: 020 8772 3660 General Enquiries: 020 8675 5211 General Info Email: info@cibse.
This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
We've moved you to where you read on your other device.
Get the full title to continue listening from where you left off, or restart the preview.