Journal article

Modelling occupants’ personal characteristics for thermal comfort prediction

Based on results from a field survey campaign conducted in Switzerand, we show that occupants’ variations in clothing choices, which are relatively unconstrained, are best described by the daily mean outdoor temperature and that major clothing adjustments occur rarely during the day. We then develop an ordinal logistic model of the probability distribution of discretised clothing levels, which results in a concise and informative expression of occupants’ clothing choices. Results from both cross-validation and independent verification suggest that this model formulation may be used with confidence. Furthermore, the form of the model is readily generalisable, given the requisite calibration data, to environments where dress codes are more specific. We also observe that, for these building occupants, the prevailing metabolic activity levels are mostly constant for the whole range of surveyed environmental conditions, as their activities are relatively constrained by the tasks in hand. Occupants may compensate for this constraint, however, through the consumption of cold and hot drinks, with corresponding impacts on metabolic heat production. Indeed, cold drink consumption was found to be highly correlated with indoor thermal conditions, whilst hot drink consumption is best described by a seasonal variable. These variables can be used for predictive purposes using binary logistic models.


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