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Development and validation of a methodology to challenge the adaptive comfort model

: Schweiker, M.; Brasche, S.; Bischof, W.; Hawighorst, M.; Voss, K.; Wagner, A.


Building and environment 49 (2012), S.336-347
ISSN: 0360-1323
Fraunhofer IBP ()

Behavioural, physiological and psychological adaptive processes are presumed reasons for the discrepancies between predicted mean vote (PMV) and observed comfort votes during field studies. However, few is known about the individual portions of these processes to this effect. This paper describes the development of an experimental design which aims at identifying those portions and is meant for climate chambers with at least one façade connected to the exterior. The experimental design consists of distinctive settings with respect to variations in outside conditions and the number of control opportunities so that one or more of the three adaptive processes are blocked. The results of a first implementation of this experimental design presented show the ability to analyse the three processes individually with the data gathered by such procedures. As a result, the permission to interact with the built environment by means of using a fan or opening a window alone leads to an increased satisfaction with the thermal conditions. At the same time, the restriction of such behavioural reactions seems to be counterbalanced by an increased amount of physiological reactions such as an increased level of skin moisture and skin temperature. In conclusion, the developed experimental design looks promising in order to reveal the single effects leading to the phenomenon called adaptive comfort, while small adjustments are discussed for further improvements.