Modelling drivers of variance and adaptation for the prediction of thermal perception and energy use in zero energy buildings.

Schweiker, M. , IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering ,2019

As thermal perception is a subjective "condition of mind", a high variance in observed thermal sensation votes does not come to a surprise. Literature reviews show a large number of individual and contextual influences. However, the quantification of the effect of individual drivers on thermal perception as well as thermal adaptation and their integration into thermal comfort models is still an open field of research. Still, analyses of the energy balance of zero-energy buildings (ZEB) are using assumptions related to the user's needs e.g. in terms of thermal comfort. First, this paper explores a novel combination of a biophysical model and an adaptive framework (called the ATHB*TNZ approach) and discusses the applicability of such approach to model individual differences in thermal perception. Second, results of an implementation of these individualized comfort prediction on the energy balance of a zero energy building are presented together with the resulting discomfort hours. Results show that the consideration of physiological differences and adaptive processes in the modelling approach can replicate observed variations in thermal perception. The energy balance of a ZEB is hardly affected by set point adjustments due to individual requirements, but discomfort hours strongly depend on individual characteristics of occupants.

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