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Basics & Theory

GBA: Defining Habitable Temperatures
Green Building Advisor discusses how hot is too hot and how cold is too cold if buildings lose power or heating fuel.

Healthy Heating: Definition Of Mean Radiant Temperature
Healthy Heating site explains that mean radiant temperature (MRT) is simply the area weighted mean temperature of all the objects surrounding the body. It will be positive when surrounding objects are warmer than the average skin temperature and negative when they are colder.

Healthy Heating: Overview Of Operative Temperature
Healthy Heating describes operative temperature as what humans experience thermally in a space. It is the combined effects of radiant heat and air temperature.

Healthy Heating: Overview Of Thermal Comfort & Indoor Environmental Quality
Healthy Heating describes thermal comfort and human physiology including introduction to indoor environmental quality, human comfort factors, homeostasis & thermal balance, body thermoregulatory system, body sensory system, brain as a thermostat, and links to much more helpful information.

Healthy Heating: Thermal Comfort & The ASHRAE Standard
Healthy Heating describes thermal comfort and the ASHRAE standard for thermal environmental conditions for human occupancy.

Healthy Heating: Thermal Comfort Is A Condition Of Mind
Healthy Heating provides an overview on thermal comfort and anatomy and physiology.

Heating Help: Mean Radiant Temperature Explained
Dan Holohan of Heating Help always has a simple way of explaining highly technical topics. Here he walks you through a story that describes what mean radiant temperature is.

HVAC School: Sneaky Effects of Radiant Heat Transfer
HVAC School says you can have a room with an air temperature at a comfortable 72° that can still feel hot or cold to an occupant based on the temperature of the surfaces around them.

IRC: Digest On Thermal Environment & Human Comfort
Canadian Institute for Research in Construction digest on thermal environment and human comfort explains factors involved, reasons for dissatisfactions, and corrective measures that may be considered. (PDF)

PBC: Thermal Comfort Zone
Passive Buildings Canada describes the thermal comfort zone, and also discusses cultural expectation of comfort.

Sustainability Workshop: Detailed Equations For Calculating Comfort
Sustainability Workshop site provides equations and conditions for calculating human comfort.

Wikipedia: Overview Of Thermal Comfort
Wikipedia describes issues and considerations for thermal comfort.
Information Sources

Designing Buildings Wiki: Thermal Comfort In Buildings
Designing Buildings Wiki provides information and resource on thermal comfort in buildings.

HH: Thermal Comfort Principles & Practical Applications for Residential Buildings
Robert Bean’s free book, Thermal Comfort Principles and Practical Applications for Residential Buildings, lays out the facts about comfort and indoor environmental quality.

House Whisperer: Purchasable Home Comfort Book
House Whisperer sells the Home Comfort Book, a building science/home performance book written specifically to appeal to the homeowner.
Issues & Performance

ASHRAE: Online Thermal Comfort Compliance Tool
The new user manual for ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55-2013, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, includes a free online thermal comfort tool that can be used as the official tool for showing compliance with the standard.

ASHRAE: Standard 55-2013-Thermal Environmental Conditions For Human Occupancy
ASHRAE Standard 55-2013, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy specifies the combinations of indoor space environment and personal factors that will produce thermal environmental conditions acceptable to 80% or more of the occupants within a space. $99 USD

Healthy Heating: Myths Around Thermal Comfort Standards
Healthy Heating discusses several myths around standards that govern thermal comfort.

Yahoo: Are Women More Sensitive To Cold Than Men?
Yahoo says that more than half of lab and field studies found that women are more likely than men to express thermal dissatisfaction, and that women are more sensitive to cooler conditions.

Australia Gov: Thermal Comfort Indices
Australia government descibes how air temperature is only one factor in the assesment of thermal stress. In climates where other important factors, principally humidity, can vary widely from day to day, we need more than just the temperature for a more realistic assessment of comfort. The Wet Bulb Globe Temperature (WBGT) and the Apparent Temperature are indices which attempt to condense all the extra effects into a single number and use it in a similar way to the way we used the temperature.

Berkeley Univ: Online Thermal Comfort Tool For ASHRAE-55
Center for the Built Environment at University of California Berkeley online tool can be used for thermal comfort prediction according to ASHRAE Standard-55. It includes models for conventional building systems (predicted mean vote) and also for comfort using the adaptive comfort model, and with increased air speeds (for example, when using fans for cooling). It also provides new features such as visualization of comfort boundaries within the psychrometric chart.

Energy Vanguard: Thermal Comfort & The ASHRAE Standard
Energy Vanguard article by Robert Bean says everyone wants thermal comfort but few know the ASHRAE standard.

GBA: Understanding & Measuring Mean Radiant Temperature
Green Building Advisor shows how mean radiant temperature, a major component of thermal comfort, is easy to measure.

GBA: What Is Comfort?
Green Building Advisor says as designers engage in an arms race to develop increasingly comfortable homes, green builders need to know when to say enough is enough.

GBA: Why Is It So Cold In Here?
Green Building Advisor discusses what happens when the furnace can put out plenty of heat, but the house feels cold unless the furnace is running.

Healthy Heating: Online Thermal Comfort Calculator
Healthy Heating thermal comfort calculator shows effects of changing air temperature, radiant temperature, relative humidity, air velocity, activity rate, and clothing levels.

Healthy Heating: Post-Occupancy Thermal Comfort Surveys
Healthy Heating describes surveys that relate specifically to the occupants, and are performed to develop an accurate representation of the environmental conditions perceived by the occupants against those criteria defined by standards.

Healthy Heating: Slideshow On Indoor Comfort Quality
Healthy Heating slide show presented at CIPHEX 2004, describes design considerations for creating indoor comfort quality in a home. (PDF)

Home Energy: Overview On Human Thermal Comfort & Keeping Warm
Home Energy magazine article explains thermal comfort, drafts, mean radiant temperature, insulation value of clothing, metabolic rates of physical activities, and tips to keep warm.

HPAC Magazine: Formulas For Success Using Mean Radiant Temperature
HPAC magazine says if building codes dropped the reference to controlling air temperatures and switched the requirements to controlling mean radiant temperature, building performance specifications would have to change overnight and for the better.

NREL: Variability In Measured Space Temperatures In 60 US Homes
US National Renewable Energy Laboratory report Variability in Measured Space Temperatures In 60 US Homes discusses the measured variability in indoor space temperatures in a set of 60 homes located in Florida, New York, Oregon, and Washington. Temperature data were collected at 15-minute intervals for an entire year, including living room, master bedroom, and outdoor air temperature (Arena et al. 2010). The data were examined to establish the average living room temperatures for the heating and cooling seasons, the variability of living room temperatures depending on climate, and the variability of indoor space temperatures. (PDF)

VTT: Human Thermal Model For Improved Thermal Comfort
Human Thermal Model is a new technique developed by Senior Scientist Riikka Holopainen from VTT in her doctoral thesis, which can be used to design and create optimal indoor environments for low-energy buildings. One of the novelties of the method is the fact that it allows scientists to measure how different solutions are likely to affect human thermal comfort and the energy efficiency of buildings at the design stage. (PDF)
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