Thermal comfort expectations and adaptive behavioural characteristics of primary and secondary school students

Kim, Jungsoo; de Dear, Richard , Building and Environment ,127(2018), 13-22

This study aims to better understand thermal comfort perception and related behavioural characteristics of school children. Statistical analyses were performed on the thermal comfort survey database consisting of 4866 responses collected from primary- and secondary school classrooms in Australia across two summer seasons. The students generally preferred ‘cooler-than-neutral’ sensations, with the preferred temperature being estimated to be 2–3 K below the neutrality predicted for adults under the same thermal environmental exposures. The students' 80% acceptability zone empirically derived from group mean thermal sensations, was significantly wider than the band of ±0.85 thermal sensation votes assumed in the PMV-PPD model. The school children indicated air-conditioning as their favoured thermoregulatory method, among many other adaptive options including windows, fans, blinds or clothing adjustments. The results indicated that those students already placed in air-conditioning classrooms were more likely to prefer air-conditioning for the maintenance of their comfort, compared to those accommodated in classrooms without air-conditioning.

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