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The influence of a student's 'home' climate on room temperature and indoor environmental controls use in a modern halls of residence

Amin, Rucha, Teli, Despoina, James, Patrick and Bourikas, Leonidas (2016) The influence of a student's 'home' climate on room temperature and indoor environmental controls use in a modern halls of residence Energy and Buildings, 119, pp. 331-339. (doi:10.1016/j.enbuild.2016.03.028).

Record type: Article


Adaptive comfort theory states that over time people adapt to their normal environment. Therefore, people from different climates are expected to have different thermal preferences and behaviours, which could lead to ‘performance gap’ in buildings with occupants of diverse climate backgrounds. This study investigates the influence of occupants’ thermal history on use of controls and indoor temperature preference in a newly built halls of residence building complex in Southampton, UK, which provides 1104 rooms to international and UK students. A total of 223 questionnaire responses along with monitored temperature data and thermal comfort surveys from 30 rooms are used in this analysis.

The results indicate that residents’ ‘home’ climate is impacting the reported use of environmental controls in rooms with similar typological characteristics. The average indoor temperature of residents from warm climates was 2.3 °C higher than that of residents from cool climates in February 2015 (winter heating season). This difference cannot be explained by room orientation alone. Comparison of room temperatures to design values indicates that UK design standards may not account for the comfort needs of residents accustomed to warmer climates. A simple management approach to comfort optimisation is suggested, locating students on the appropriately orientated facade to reflect their ‘home’ climate.

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Accepted/In Press date: 10 March 2016
e-pub ahead of print date: 14 March 2016
Published date: 1 May 2016
Additional Information: The ethics approval for this work (ERGO UOS ID:18221) requires that only the researchers have access to the data. No additional data beyond that presented in the paper is available for public use due to this ethics restriction.
Keywords: thermal comfort, thermal history, thermal preference, occupant behaviour, controls use, adaptive comfort, performance gap
Organisations: Energy & Climate Change Group


Local EPrints ID: 392704
ISSN: 0378-7788
PURE UUID: edb2e18c-1e73-4446-b1b0-4960c3c5e548
ORCID for Despoina Teli: ORCID iD
ORCID for Leonidas Bourikas: ORCID iD

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Date deposited: 06 May 2016 14:04
Last modified: 10 Aug 2017 04:01

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Author: Rucha Amin
Author: Despoina Teli ORCID iD
Author: Patrick James
Author: Leonidas Bourikas ORCID iD

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