Investigating Recommended Temperature Zones and Clothing Assumptions in the Assessment of Classrooms’ Thermal Environment
There has been a lot of research over recent years on children’s thermal comfort, which highlighted the different needs of young children compared to adults. These findings pose a challenge to designers on how to best meet these needs. This paper focuses on recommended temperature zones and assumptions used in standards through a case study in a grade school in Gothenburg, Sweden. Six classrooms were investigated in three buildings of the same school. The indoor temperature was measured using small-scale data loggers programmed to log at 5-minute intervals for a period of 5 months (mid-December to early-June). Thermal comfort questionnaires were also distributed to children throughout the monitoring period. A total of 45,000 temperature readings corresponding to assumed occupied hours and approximately 2000 thermal sensation votes and clothing insulation values are used in the analysis. Results indicate that assumed occupancy schedules may differ to real use, leading to overestimation of time when indoor environmental parameters are outside recommended ranges. Children’s clothing insulation was found to be lower than assumed in standards in both winter and summer. Omitting to account for such differences may lead to misinterpretation of indoor environment assessments and design solutions.
KeywordsThermal comfort Indoor environment quality School buildings Children Clothing insulation
The authors would like to thank the teachers and children who participated in this study. This work has been performed with support from VINNOVA (Swedish Governmental Agency for Innovation Systems), the Profile ‘Energy in Urban Development’ within the Area of Advance ‘Energy’ at Chalmers University of Technology and the Sustainable Energy Research Group (www.energy.soton.ac.uk) at the University of Southampton.
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