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24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption Published by the British Council for Offices, January
24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption Published by the British Council for Offices, January
24°C Study:
Comfort, Productivity
and Energy Consumption
Published by the British Council for Offices, January 200 8
Research conducted by Arup

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

Contents

Contents

 

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Executive

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2

COMFORT AND PRODUCTIVITY

 

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2.1

Definitions

 

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2.2

Existing guidance and standards

 

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2.3

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2.4

Conclusions

 

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ENERGY

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3.1

Introduction

 

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3.3

Results

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3.4

Conclusions

 

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REFERENCES

 

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30

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

ABOUT THE BRITISH COUNCIL FOR OFFICES Established in 1990, the British Council for Offices’ mission is to research, develop and communicate best practice in all aspects of the office sector. It delivers this by providing a forum for the discussion and debate of relevant issues and works to promote co-operation and understanding between landlord and tenant, investor and developer, and owner and occupier – therefore encouraging efficiency and innovation in the office sector. The BCO has over 1,200 members, who are organisations and individuals involved in creating, acquiring or occupying office space, both private and public sector. The diverse nature of the BCO membership puts it in a unique position to advance the collective understanding of its members, and the industry more generally, facilitating the creation of more effective office space.

Foreword

At the BCO Conference 2006 in Dublin, the BCO was challenged to use its influence on office development to take a lead in the debate on carbon reduction and the associated climate change. Jack Pringle, then President of RIBA, supported by Robin Harris, then Vice-President of Corenet, called upon the BCO to revise its recommendation on summer time temperatures in offices from 22 to 24°C.

Although it is possible for most offices to simply change the setpoint for the office temperature we felt that it was important to investigate the impact of this change on comfort, productivity and energy use before we made any changes to the BCO Specification. The Technical Affairs Committee, chaired by Neil Pennell, commissioned Arup to research this proposition to see if it was workable. The first stage of the project is this desk top study which was undertaken by Dr Gavin Davies and his team at Arup. Although the report does not identify considerable savings in energy usage or carbon emissions, we were sufficiently encouraged to take the project to the next stage to see the effects of raising the mean temperature to 24°C.

This report found that increasing the standard office temperature appears to be feasible, however, a range of practical measures will have to be adopted in order to mitigate any negative impact on comfort and productivity. For example, occupiers will need to consider adopting a relaxed dress code to ensure that people are comfortable at the higher temperature, and even though productivity levels are incredibly difficult to assess, they should be considered. The next stage will be a case study where the mean office temperature will be raised to 24°C during the summer months.

I hope that you will be interested in the findings in this report and we will look forward to Summer 2008 when we will get to put the theory into practice. I would like to express the BCO’s thanks to all those who got involved in this project in particular the steering group which was made up of representatives of RIBA and Corenet.

Dr Ian Selby Director of Research and Policy

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

Executive summary

Currently the British Council for Offices recommends that the temperature within an air-conditioned office should be controlled to 22°C and that the space should have an acceptable level of humidity; that is, the relative humidity should be within the range 40-60%. It is now widely accepted that there is a need to reduce carbon emissions to both reduce the rate of climate change and, equally important, our dependence upon fossil fuels. Buildings are responsible for a significant component of the United Kingdom’s carbon emissions and so any reduction will be a useful contribution to the achievement of Government targets in this area. One way to do this is to increase the internal temperature in offices when cooling is used. The British Council for Offices would like to increase the setpoint by 2°C, but have some concerns as to the effect on both occupant comfort and productivity. They therefore commissioned Arup to carry out a review of existing research in these areas and also to assess the likely impact on energy consumption The results of the study are summarised here.

COMFORT The study was solely concerned with thermal comfort – that is the feeling of being ‘hot’ or ‘cold’. Other aspects such as noise and glare are unlikely to be affected by the change in internal temperature. Furthermore, the study focussed on air- conditioned buildings rather than free-running buildings. While the change of 2°C might appear small, in practice because of the way the space temperature controls function, maximum space temperatures of 2°C above the set value may occur (and indeed are permitted in the BCO specification). This means that 26°C could occur during hot weather. Due to sensors being mainly unable to measure operative temperature, it is difficult to prescribe setpoint temperatures based on operative temperatures alone, but it is suggested that the air temperature setpoints are such that the operative comfort range is ensured.

Researchers in the area of thermal comfort fall into two camps; these are usually referred to as the Fanger approach and the adaptive approach. The late P.O. Fanger carried out a large number of comfort studies on people in controlled

environments from which he was able to develop a comfort equation relating the sensation of comfort (technically a balance between heat generated and heat lost from the body) to the following parameters:

Air temperature.

Temperature of the surroundings.

Air speed.

Humidity.

Type of clothing.

Type of activity.

This method is the basis for the current British and International comfort standard.

The adaptive approach is based on surveys and looks at how people respond in general. The most important result from this work is that people will accept higher temperatures inside buildings if, for example:

They can adjust the way they dress – take jackets off – remove ties.

Alter air movement – by desk fans for example.

Have control of blinds.

The external temperature has been high for a number of days.

Current guidance from the Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers includes both approaches for air- conditioned and naturally-ventilated buildings. In practice, the two are not really very different; the first allows an examination of the detail, and the second takes real human behaviour into account.

From an examination of these approaches it has been concluded that a peak temperature of 26°C will be acceptable if a relaxed dress code can be adopted – that is, open necks and no jackets. At this temperature, humidity becomes of greater importance than previously. However, the current specification of a maximum of 60%RH should be acceptable.

The study recognises that it is unlikely that people in air- conditioned buildings will accept temperatures much higher than 26°C and so designers will need to take care to address features such as solar shade. It may also be that a more considered approach be taken in the design of the heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.

PRODUCTIVITY There has been far less research in this area than in that of comfort. This is probably because it is quite difficult to define productivity. Furthermore, the effect that temperature has on productivity is less clear and depends heavily on the type of work being done. For example, typing speeds are shown to be slower at higher temperatures, while memory improves with a slow increase in temperature up to 26°C. Along the same lines as the placebo effect of thermal comfort, psychology also affects productivity. According to the Hawthorne Effect, if management shows an effort to improve conditions (regardless of whether an improvement has actually been implemented), occupants generally become more productive.

It is possible that ‘people are most productive at work when they are least aware of their surroundings’. Apart from the obvious implication of thermal, aural and visual comfort the statement also implies there are no management issues that could reduce motivation. Research has identified management as a key issue in productivity. One researcher has attempted to correlate productivity with space temperature suggesting around a 3% drop in productivity at 26°C from that achieved at 22°C. However the researcher has low confidence in the relationship. There is therefore scant evidence to suggest that increasing the setpoint by 2°C will have a noticeable effect upon productivity.

ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND CARBON DIOXIDE EMISSIONS The effect of a change in internal temperature on the amount of energy required to heat spaces is fairly obvious in that the closer the internal temperature is to that outside the less heat required. Things are not quite so simple when cooling. This is because the main sources of heat gain to the space, solar radiation, office equipment and lighting are not affected by the space temperature. The gains from people do reduce as temperatures increase but only marginally. In addition current levels of insulation mean that conduction of heat through the building fabric is unlikely to be seriously affected. The load imposed by air infiltration through the façade may under some circumstances be affected but many designs attempt to pressurise the building and so reduce this to an insignificant load. The main influence of an increase in internal temperature will be on the amount of energy required to cool the fresh air supplied by the air-conditioning system to room temperature. The study concentrated on this issue.

The design of the air-conditioning system will influence the amount of energy saved by an increase in space temperature.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

This is because some types only supply the minimum or near minimum amount of fresh air required for a healthy environment and make use of a secondary source of cooling (water coils) to remove the majority of the heat gain. Examples are fan coil systems and active chilled beams. Systems that provide all the cooling in the air supply (variable air volume for example) handle much more air and there is scope for ‘free cooling’ if the external temperature is not too high. Using a computer model written specifically for this project the following systems were studied:

Fan coil units.

Variable air volume.

Active chilled beams.

Under floor air supply systems.

Performance was predicted for three locations within the United Kingdom, London, Manchester and Edinburgh. In each case the reduction in cooling energy and carbon dioxide emissions due to the 2°C change was calculated for a typical office building that meets current building regulations. Humidity was controlled to a maximum of 60%RH.

In addition to the savings made because air is not being cooled as much, there is a more subtle potential saving possibility. Reduced cooling of the supply air means that the temperature of the water supply to the cooling coil could be increased. This would result in an improvement in the efficiency of the refrigeration plant, possibly by up to 7.5%.

The predictions suggested, with the exception of the under floor supply system, savings of 6% (11%), 4%( 10%) and 3.5% (9.5%) in London, Manchester and Edinburgh respectively. The figures in parenthesis indicate the effect of an improvement in the efficiency of the refrigeration plant. The reduction as the building moves North is simply due to lower outside air temperatures. The predicted saving for the under floor system are less at 1.1% (9%), 0.5% (7.5%) and 0.3% (7.5%) respectively. This is because air is supplied to the space at a higher temperature (say 18°C as opposed to 12-14°C). Because the fuel used is assumed to come from a single source, grid supplied electricity, the percentage reductions in energy and carbon emissions are identical.

Clearly the air-conditioning is only one source of carbon dioxide emissions from the building. If all sources are taken into consideration then, using typical building performance figures, the maximum predicted reduction in electrical power consumption is about 0.7%. The reduction in carbon emissions could be slightly higher, but this will depend upon the mix of fuels.

These savings are small but are a contribution to the reduction of carbon emissions at virtually no cost and with a reduction in the fuel bill. It may also be possible to use a slightly smaller capacity plant and so reduce the capital cost.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

1. Introduction

Currently the British Council for Offices recommends that the temperature within an air-conditioned office should be controlled to 22°C and that the space should have an acceptable level of humidity; that is, the relative humidity (RH) should be within the range 40-60%. It is now widely accepted that there is a need to reduce carbon emissions to both reduce the rate of climate change and, equally important, our dependence upon fossil fuels. Buildings are responsible for a significant component of the United Kingdom’s carbon emissions and so any reduction will be a useful contribution to the achievement of Government targets in this area. One way to do this is to increase the internal temperature in offices when cooling is used. The British Council for Offices would like to recommend an increase in the setpoint by 2°C, but have some concerns as to the effect on both occupant comfort and productivity. They therefore commissioned Arup to carry out a review of existing research in these areas and also to assess the likely impact on energy consumption. This is in two main sections:

Comfort and productivity.

Energy consumption.

The first contains a review of current guidelines and research while the second contains an analysis of the effect of temperature on the energy consumption and hence carbon emissions for four typical air conditioning systems.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

2. Comfort and productivity

The purpose of this study is as follows:

To summarise existing guidance and standards related to comfort in the built environment.

To conduct a state-of-the-art literature review on comfort in air-conditioned offices.

To ascertain the effects of increasing the office control setpoint temperature from 22°C (±2°C) to 24°C (±2°C) during summer conditions.

To conduct a state-of-the-art literature review on productivity and the anticipated effects of increasing the indoor design temperature by 2K on productivity.

The study of comfort is inevitably one that combines both objective (quantitative) and subjective (qualitative) findings. Both types of findings will be reported here. As the main reason for carrying out this literature review is to understand the ramifications of increasing the indoor design temperature on an office environment, the focus of the report is on thermal comfort rather than other forms of comfort such as visual, aural, and olfactory comfort. This is not to say that the other parameters are unimportant, as studies have found them to have impacts on workplace performance; however, these studies fall outside the scope of this review.

Similarly, the review of productivity is limited to studies conducted in office environments and to studies related to indoor temperatures rather than other factors.

2.1 DEFINITIONS When designing for mechanical heating and/or cooling, it is important to distinguish what the reason is for tempering the environment. That is, is it a question of health and safety, or is it a question of comfort? If it is a question of health and safety, a wider range of indoor temperatures is allowed as long as temperatures do not reach levels that induce heat or cold stress in the upper and lower extremes, respectively, of the temperature range. If, however, it is a question of comfort, a much narrower range is considered tolerable by occupants of the indoor space. Clearly, there are temperatures outside a comfortable range at which an occupant is not at risk from a health and safety point of

view. This study focuses on the comfort aspects of air- conditioned office spaces. The definition of ‘air-conditioned’

is the control of air temperature and relative humidity.

2.1.1 Thermal Comfort

Thermal comfort is defined as “that condition of mind which expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment and is assessed by subjective evaluation” (ASHRAE). The following

is a list of environmental factors affecting thermal comfort:

Air temperature.

Radiant temperature.

Air speed.

Humidity.

Additionally, there are personal factors that affect thermal comfort, and these are as follows:

Clothing insulation – measured in clo (1 clo = 0.155m 2 °C/W).

Activity level – measured in met (1 met = 58.2 W/m 2 ).

A typical business suit has an insulation level of 1 clo, and

normal office work corresponds to an activity level of 1 met.

As the aim of this study is to look at increasing the control setpoint temperature in offices specifically, the following assumptions were made:

Offices are air-conditioned.

Occupants are seated; sedentary or near-sedentary physical activity level.

Occupants are clothed between 0.5 and 1.0 clo (ASHRAE).

2.1.2 Productivity

Productivity, like comfort, is difficult to define objectively as many subjective factors affect workplace performance. However, it can be defined broadly as the ratio of output to input (CIBSE, TM24:1999). What constitutes the output and input, however, is something that is not clearly and absolutely defined.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

2.2 EXISTING GUIDANCE AND STANDARDS

2.2.1 BRITISH COUNCIL FOR OFFICES GUIDE 2005 The British Council for Offices Guide 2005: Best practice in the specification for offices currently specifies the following design conditions for air-conditioned offices:

Summer:

Design indoor temperature: 22°C ± 2°C

Note: The industry standard for summertime relative humidity limits is 50% ± 10%.

Winter:

Design indoor temperature: 20°C ± 2°C

A minimum recommendation of 35-40% RH has been set by the BCO if the fresh air rate equals or exceeds 2.0 l/s/m 2

For buildings without mechanical cooling, the BCO guide states that predicted thermal comfort is based on “the percentage of occupied hours for which particular internal temperatures are expected to exceed 25°C”. The thermal comfort is measured using the percent people dissatisfied (PPD) method from the International Standard, ISO 7730, aiming for a maximum PPD of 10%.

The BCO guide also points out a 1999 field study by de Dear et al. in which the preferred temperature was determined to be 23.5°C.

2.2.2 CIBSE Guide A: Environmental Design The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) published the 2006 version of CIBSE Guide A:

Environmental Design, and Chapter 1 addresses “Environmental criteria for design”. Guide A is a best practice guide which is based on the ISO Standard 7730. Guide A uses an operative temperature to convey the combined effects of air temperature and mean radiant temperature. The operative temperature is defined as follows:

A comfort zone is defined by -0.5 < PMV < 0.5, or 80%

occupant acceptability, which is the same as ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 (see Section 3.3). This 80% allows for 10% dissatisfaction with general thermal comfort and an additional 10% dissatisfaction due to local thermal discomfort. Guide A points out that “the ‘predicted mean vote’ (PMV) combines the influence of air temperature, air movement and humidity with that of clothing and activity level into one value on a thermal sensation scale”. However, the PPD assumption of uniform clothing may actually overestimate discomfort since, in reality, personal choice of clothing is at play.

2.2.2.1 Temperature

Guide A states that “temperature is usually the most important environmental variable affecting thermal comfort”, and a change of 3K correlates to 1 scale unit difference on a thermal sensation scale for sedentary subjects.

For offices in the summertime, Guide A, Table 1.5 recommends a temperature range between 22°C and 24°C for offices in which the assumed activity level is 1.2 met and clothing insulation level is 0.7 clo.

Temperature differences in the vertical should be limited to

a maximum of 3K between the ankles and head, but

temperature differences in the horizontal may be desirable as this allows occupants to choose to move from a less comfortable to more comfortable location.

2.2.2.2 Air Speed and Movement

The recommended upper limit for air speeds in a mechanically-ventilated building is 0.3 m/s, according to Guide A. Air speeds greater than this would be considered unacceptable due to draught dissatisfaction, which is a function of air speed, local air temperature, and fluctuations in air speed. The draught rating (DR) is given by the

following equation:

DR = (34–T ai )(v–0.05) 0.62 (0.37vT u + 3.14)

(Equation 3.2.2.1)

T c = HT ai + (1–H)T r

(Equation 3.2.1)

Where:

Where:

v = local mean air speed (m/s)

T c = operative temperature (°C)

H

=

h r / (h c + h r )

h r = surface heat transfer coefficient by radiation

h c = surface heat transfer coefficient by convection

T ai = indoor air temperature (°C)

T r = mean radiant temperature (°C)

T u = local turbulence intensity (%)

CIBSE Guide A points out that acceptable operative temperatures can rise with increased air speeds. This phenomenon will be discussed further in a later section. Also, as activity levels increase, so do the relative air speeds over the body surface.

2.2.2.3 Gender and Age Differences

CIBSE Guide A explains differences between genders and age groups. In general, the clothing insulation level for women is lower than that for men, so women tend to vote lower on a thermal sensation scale. Regarding age, there is not much variation as the lower metabolic rate in older people is compensated by a lower evaporative loss.

2.2.2.4 Adaptive Approach

Humphreys and Nicol proposed using an adaptive approach to designing for the indoor environment. Their approach is based on extensive field studies of subjects in their everyday work environment rather than in a climate chamber. Thus, the effects of the subjects ‘adapting’ to the thermal environment by adjusting say, their clothing insulation level or behaviour, would be accounted for in the thermal comfort predictions. Humphreys and Nicol argue that occupant adjustments are a result of recent past experience. For

example, if yesterday was too cold, occupants would be more likely to increase clothing insulation levels the next day. Based on this logic, historical daily mean external air temperatures are weighted according to their proximity to the current day. The following equation gives the running mean external air temperature for day n:

T rm(n) = (1α rm )T e(d–1) + α rm T rm(n–1)

Where:

(Equation

3.2.4.1)

T rm(n) = running mean temperature (°C)

α rm = a constant between 0 and 1 that defines the rate at which the running mean temperature responds to external temperature

T e(d1) = daily mean external temperature for the day before the previous day (°C)

T rm(n1) = running mean temperature for day (n-1) (°C)

For heated and/or cooled buildings, the upper and lower comfort bands are given by the following equations, respectively:

a) T com = 0.09T rm + 24.6

(Equation 3.2.4.2)

b) T com = 0.09T rm + 20.6

(Equation 3.2.4.3)

Where T com = comfort temperature (°C)

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

Figure 1 shows the comfort bands for buildings with heated/cooled operation.

30

25 20 15 10 Comfort temperature – upper limit (°C) Comfort temperature – lower limit
25
20
15
10
Comfort temperature – upper limit (°C)
Comfort temperature – lower limit (°C)
5
0
0
5
10
15
20
25
30
Indoor temperature limits (°C)

Outdoor running mean temperature (°C)

Figure 1 80% comfort zones (±2K) in offices related to the running mean of the outdoor temperature

The adaptive approach allows operative temperature to drift so long as it occurs slowly over the period of a few days.

Note: A similar approach is proposed for a revised Dutch comfort standard (Raue et al.).

2.2.2.5 Additional Recommendations When the operative temperature is high, CIBSE Guide A recommends the following measures:

Relaxing the office dress code.

Allowing individual control (e.g., adjusting blinds, moving away from sunny areas).

Permitting flexible working hours.

Increasing air movement.

Providing hot or cold drinks (Note: Hot drinks trigger a sweating response.)

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

2.2.3 ASHRAE STANDARD 55-2004 The American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air- Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) last updated their thermal comfort standard in 2004, following ISO 7730:1995. ASHRAE Standard 55-2004: Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy uses the operative temperature to determine a comfort zone. An operative temperature for given values of humidity, air speed, metabolic rate, and clothing insulation, combines the dry-bulb air temperature with the mean radiant temperature into a single value.

2.2.3.1 Assumptions

For office settings, it is assumed that the metabolic rates would be between 1.0 and 1.3 met, and the clothing insulation would be between 0.5 and 1.0 clo. It is also assumed that the conditions are at steady state, and the occupants are healthy adults at atmospheric pressure up to an altitude of 3000m. They must also be in the office space for at least 15 minutes.

2.2.3.2 PMV-PPD Index

The standard also illustrates the Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) and Percent People Dissatisfied (PPD) method of determining the comfort zone, as developed by Fanger. His studies were carried out in climate chambers, which are carefully controlled environments that are not entirely representative of everyday office work environments. However, they provide the advantage of being able to adjust certain variables while keeping others constant.

The PMV-PPD index uses a heat balance model to arrive at predictions of thermal comfort, and the heat balance model accounts for clothing insulation, metabolic rate, and environmental parameters. A deep-body temperature of 37°C is sought as the point for the human thermo-regulatory system.

The 7-point ASHRAE thermal sensation scale is defined as follows:

+3

hot

+2

warm

+1

slightly warm

0

neutral

-1

slightly cool

-2

cool

-3

cold

PPD is related to PMV by the following equation:

PPD = 100 95e (-0.03353PMV 4 – 0.2179PMV 2 )

(Equation 3.3.2.1)

Figure 2 shows the relationship between PPD and PMV.

Percentage people dissatisfied (PPD) 100 % 8 0 65 40 20 -3 -2.5 -2 -1.5
Percentage people dissatisfied (PPD)
100
%
8 0
65
40
20
-3
-2.5
-2
-1.5
-1
-0.5
0
0.5
1
1.5
2
2.5
3

Predicted mean vote (PMV)

Figure 2 Percentage Persons dissatisfied (PPD) as a function of predicted mean vote (PMV)

2.2.3.3 Acceptability Criteria

In this ASHRAE standard, a comfort zone is defined by -0.5 < PMV < 0.5, or 80% occupant acceptability. This 80% allows for 10% dissatisfaction with general thermal comfort and an additional 10% dissatisfaction due to local thermal discomfort. The standard does not mandate operating setpoints. Instead, it notes that the standard should be applied in a context-specific way. That is, the space and occupants of a particular space need to be identified and specified. Additionally, all factors need to be considered together and not in isolation.

2.2.3.4 Effect of Air Speed

An important point that ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 makes is that comfortable operative temperatures can be increased by increasing air speeds. Figure 3 highlights this phenomenon.

Temperature rise (°C)

0 1.1 2.2 3.3 4.4 300 1.6 -10°C -5°C 0° 5°C 1.4 250 -1 8
0
1.1
2.2
3.3
4.4
300
1.6
-10°C
-5°C
5°C
1.4
250
-1 8 °F
-
9 °F
9
°F
(t r -t a )
1.2
200
1.0
10°C
1
8 °F
150
Limits for light,
primarily sedentary
0.
8
activity
0.6
100
0.4
50
0.2
0
0
2.0
4.0
6.0
8 .0
Air speed (fpm)
Air speed (m/s)

Temperature rise (°F)

Figure 3 Air speed required to offset increased temperature

The following two relationships show the effectiveness of increasing air speed on heat removal:

If mean radiant temperature is high and air temperature is low, increasing the air speed will be effective at removing heat.

If mean radiant temperature is low and air temperature is high, increasing the air speed will not be as effective at removing heat.

Due to draught issues, the maximum air speed is limited to 0.8 m/s, and the associated temperature rise is 3K. Increasing air speeds to increase operative temperatures are more effective when clothing insulation levels are low and activity levels are high (i.e., sweating is more effective).

2.2.3.5 Local Thermal Discomfort

The following are types of local thermal discomfort mentioned in the standard and their respective allowable percent dissatisfied:

Draughts (<20%)

Vertical temperature variation (<5%)

Asymmetric radiant field (<5%)

Warm and cold floors (<10%)

2.2.3.6 Humidity

The recommended maximum humidity ratio is 0.012. Note that this upper limit applies where systems are in place to control humidity. Olesen and Brager conclude that humidity has a relatively small effect on preferred ambient temperature within the comfort range. No lower humidity limit is set by the standard as lower humidity limits are usually associated with non-thermal comfort factors such as dry skin/eyes, irritated mucous membranes, and static electricity generation.

2.2.3.7 Adaptation

ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 is an improvement upon the previous 1992 version in that it has an added section on adaptation, which is very similar to the CIBSE recommendation. However, in the context of the standard, it is only applied to naturally-conditioned spaces.

2.2.3.8 Future Recommendations

In future revisions of ASHRAE Standard 55, the buildings may be broken down into different classes of environments so that more stringent criteria can be applied to buildings that need a high performance of thermal comfort and vice versa.

The importance of personal control over the thermal environment is also pointed out. This personal control may include adjustment of thermostats, posture, behaviour, dress, etc.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

2.2.4 ISO 7730:2005 The revised International Standard ISO 7730:2005 supersedes the 1995 version (the basis for the ASHRAE Standard 55- 2004 and CIBSE Guide A). This particular ISO standard is intended for moderate thermal environments. For hot environments, refer to ISO 7243, and for cold environments, refer to ISO TR 11079.

2.2.4.1 Temperature Variations with Time

Some rules of thumb for temperature variations with time are given as follows:

Peak-to-peak variations within 1K will not affect thermal comfort, and steady-state recommendations can therefore be assumed.

Steady-state methods can also be applied when temperature drifts or ramps are less than 2.0K/h.

The PMV-PPD method can be used to predict thermal comfort after an up-step in operative temperature, as “the new steady-state thermal sensation is experienced immediately.”

After a down-step in operative temperature, the initial PMV is usually too high, for “the thermal sensation drops at first to a level beneath the one predicted by PMV”, but after about 30 minutes, a steady state is reached.

2.2.4.2 Additional Recommendations

ISO 7730:2005 recommends that the clothing insulation level be representative of the occupants, taking into account local climate and clothing habits. Also, one should account for other forms of adaptation like body posture and reduced activity.

Annex A.4 gives example design criteria for specific space types under certain conditions. For a single or landscape office, the design criteria for summer operative temperature is 24.5°C ± 1°C. This is based on the assumption that occupants have a clothing insulation of 0.5 clo, and the turbulence intensity of the air is approximately 40% (mixing ventilation).

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

2.3 REVIEW

2.3.1 REVIEW OF COMFORT STUDIES The following sections cover additional information on recent thermal comfort studies that has not been covered by the standards or guidance mentioned previously.

2.3.1.1 Demographic Variations Many papers point to the importance that thermal comfort is highly dependent on the various nuances of an individual. Unfortunately, standards and guides tend to give recommendations for an average healthy adult with a given set of assumptions as mentioned in the above sections. Therefore, any nuances become lost in the average assumptions. A few of the main demographic factors that can alter thermal comfort votes significantly are listed and explained as follows:

Weight – One study shows that there is up to 20% variation in thermal comfort satisfaction due to weight because of its effect on how sensitive a person is to temperature differences (Ong). Someone who is lean will be more sensitive to the cold than someone who has more body fat.

Gender – Due to differences in dress codes and conventions, discomfort due to cold temperatures is most commonly experienced near the head and neck for males and at the ankles for women. Although the difference in gender is usually captured by the clothing level used to predict thermal comfort votes, there is also an asymmetric thermal effect that should be accounted for. (Note: This points to the general importance of addressing local thermal discomfort as well.)

Fitness – A person’s general activity level affects his/her thermal sensation. For example, someone who exercises regularly, takes regular breaks, or gets out of his/her chair for a short walk will have a higher activity level than someone who is sedentary for the entire duration of the day. The more active individual will also have a higher tolerance of thermal discomfort.

Psychology – People’s expectations of their thermal environment have an impact on their assessment of thermal comfort. On one hand, de Dear and Brager argue that occupants of naturally-ventilated buildings have different expectations than occupants of air-conditioned buildings. These expectations are based on cultural and cognitive variables based on occupants’ understanding of their environment. On the other hand, Nicol and Humphreys (2002) argue that “Whilst expectation does have a part to play in the interaction between people and their environment, it is more in defining the temperature they will expect in a particular situation than in their attitude to the building services”. This provides the basis for their running-mean outdoor temperature approach to adaptive comfort.

2.3.1.2 Scale Variations

Differences in thermal sensation scales affect people’s thermal comfort votes. Note the subtle differences between

the ASHRAE scale in Section 3.3.2 and the Bedford Scale, shown as follows:

Bedford Scale:

+3

much too hot

+2

too hot

+1

comfortably warm

0

comfortable

-1

comfortably cool

-2

too cool

-3

much too cool

Though both scales are based on 7 points, the descriptions associated with each vote on the two scales do not necessarily correspond to the same connotation of thermal comfort.

2.3.1.3 Acceptable Temperature Bands

Nicol and Humphreys (2007) note that the UK Health and Safety Executive guidance publication, Thermal Comfort in the Workplace, gives an acceptable thermal comfort range between 13°C and 30°C for most people in the UK. Nigel A. Oseland monitored eight different air-conditioned offices in England (with over 1,300 respondents total) and concluded that the acceptable temperature range for all occupants of air-conditioned buildings is between 21.8°C and 24.4°C. This corresponded with thermal sensation (TS) values between 3.5 and 4.5 on a 7-point scale, with TS = 4 being the neutral thermal sensation. The severity of the discomfort caused by varying operative temperatures is shown in Figure 4.

7 6 5 Neutral 4 3 Ventilation Air conditioned, 21.5-2 8 .5°C (r = 0.
7
6
5
Neutral
4
3
Ventilation
Air conditioned, 21.5-2 8 .5°C
(r
= 0. 99 )
2
Naturally ventilated
(r
= 0. 9 7)
1
14
16
1 8
20
22
24
26
2 8
30
32
34
Mean reported thermal sensation

Binned operative temperature (°C)

Figure 4 Graph of thermal sensation vs operative temperature in air-conditioned offices

Oseland also concluded that the “acceptable range of temperatures in naturally ventilated offices in winter and summer [is] wider than that found in air-conditioned offices by up to 2.5°C (4.5°F). It may, therefore, be possible to relax the temperature control strategy in air-conditioned buildings in order to conserve energy without causing discomfort”.

It is important to note that sensors in thermostats rarely measure operative temperature. They usually measure temperatures nearer the air temperature, but the actual temperature measured depends upon the design and placement of the sensor. It is, therefore, not possible to generalise thermostat setpoints as purely air temperatures or operative temperatures alone. However, the air-conditioning setpoint should ensure that resulting operative temperatures allowing for temporal and special changes stay within the operative band of 24°C ± 2°C.

2.3.1.4 Individual Control

One recurring point in many of the papers is that there is a psychological need for individual control over one’s thermal environment. When an individual has the ability to modify his/her thermal environment, he/she will be more satisfied with the environment (Ong). Ong also argues that this is very much a physiological need as well, for humans “operate within a very narrow range of thermal conditions and we are physiologically sensitive to changes in our thermal balance”. Hence, the ability to modify our thermal environment according to varying needs throughout the day, based on recent past activity, seems to be more crucial than setting a designated temperature band to adhere to.

Ong also notes that having spatial diversity across an office floor plate allows occupants to choose their thermal environment locally.

2.3.1.5 SCATs Project

The Smart Controls and Thermal Comfort (SCATs) project was coordinated by the Oxford Brookes University and was carried out in five different countries – France, Greece, Portugal, Sweden, and the UK. The seven tasks of the project were as follows:

Task 1: Development of instrumentation for field studies

Task 2: Carry out thermal comfort field studies across Europe

Task 3: Develop an adaptive control algorithm (ACA) using the task 2 data

Task 4: Develop new control systems for both air- conditioned (AC) and naturally-ventilated (NV) buildings

Task 5: Test the energy implications of using the ACA via computer simulations

Task 6: Test the ACA in NV buildings

Task 7: Test the ACA in AC buildings

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

The adaptive method, Nicol and Humphreys (2007) argue, does not require knowledge of clothing levels or activity levels, but rather, it is based on observations of behavioural patterns of occupants. Also, physical measurements were taken alongside the survey of occupant thermal comfort.

A few conclusions related to thermal comfort were drawn

from the SCATs project. Firstly, there is a relationship between the comfort temperature and the running mean outdoor temperature, and this relationship is observed to be that shown in Equation 4.1.5.1 for heated or cooled buildings.

T c = 0.09T m + 22.6

(Equation 4.1.5.1)

Note: This is an average of the two equations shown in CIBSE Guide A.

Equation 4.1.5.1 shows that the office comfort temperature can be increased as the outdoor temperature increases.

Secondly, “the characteristic time subjects take to adjust fully to a change in the outdoor temperature is about a week”.

Thirdly, a temperature variation of ±2K is acceptable for thermal comfort, but there is no one temperature at which all occupants will feel thermally satisfied.

It is important to note that no increase in discomfort was

noticed after installation of the ACA (McCartney & Nicol).

2.3.2 ASSESSMENT OF IMPACT OF INCREASE IN INTERNAL TEMPERATURE ON COMFORT

If the summer indoor design temperature is increased by 2K,

there will be interrelated changes to the following items:

Air temperature

Radiant temperature

Air speed

Relative humidity

Occupant heat gain

Clothing

Regional variations

Gender

Occupant demographics

As air temperature increases inside the space, so will the radiant temperature. Ideally (but probably not possible), air speed should be increased to reduce the effect of a 2K increase. Relative humidity is shown to have little effect on thermal comfort within the comfort range, but higher temperatures can hold more moisture.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

Occupant sensible gains decrease while latent heat gains increase. Relative humidity and thermal comfort will be discussed further in Section 4.3.3.

An increase in design temperature should be counteracted by

a relaxation in the office dress code so that building

occupants can have a degree of control over their thermal environment and so that evaporative losses can be facilitated.

People living in hot climates may be better adapted to higher temperatures already. Culture and customs may either impede or aid thermal comfort depending on how relaxed the dress code can be.

Thermal discomfort reported by men usually tends toward the positive side of the PMV scale (i.e., warm, hot). That reported by women, on the other hand, usually tends toward the negative side of the PMV scale (i.e., cool, cold). Therefore, a 2K increase in design temperature will most likely be favourable among female occupants, but be a cause of concern among male occupants.

As was mentioned previously, occupant demographics can be highly variable and should be analysed on an individual basis.

2.3.2.1 Adaptive Comfort Ranges Based on Temperature Increase Analysis was carried out using Equations 3.2.4.2 and 3.2.4.3 on weather data for three UK cities – London, Manchester, and Edinburgh. The resulting comfort ranges for an entire year based on the adaptive approach is shown in the graphs below. The first set of three graphs is based on the Test

Reference Year (TRY) data, which are representative of an average year. The second set of three graphs is based on the Design Summer Year (DSY) data, which are representative of

a hot year.

Based on the TRY graphs, one can see that a peak indoor design temperature of 26°C is acceptable for a typical year. Furthermore, the DSY graphs show that the same peak indoor design temperature is even more acceptable for hot years. Most of the graphs show that there is only just over 1.5°C variation between the winter and summer comfort temperatures.

Note that the comfort ranges are simply the setpoint temperatures recommended by the SCATs project with a ±2°C band, which is also what the BCO allows.

27

26 25 24 Upper T Lower T 23 22 21 Comfort temperature (°C)
26
25
24
Upper T
Lower T
23
22
21
Comfort temperature (°C)

20

Day of year

Figure 5 Adaptive comfort ranges using London TRY

27 26 25 24 Upper T Lower T 23 22 21 20 Comfort temperature (°C)
27
26
25
24
Upper T
Lower T
23
22
21
20
Comfort temperature (°C)

Day of year

Figure 6 Adaptive comfort ranges using Manchester TRY

27 26 25 24 Upper T Lower T 23 22 21 20 Comfort temperature (°C)
27
26
25
24
Upper T
Lower T
23
22
21
20
Comfort temperature (°C)

Day of year

Figure 7 Adaptive comfort ranges using Edinburgh TRY

27 26 25 24 Upper T Lower T 23 22 21 20 Comfort temperature (°C)
27
26
25
24
Upper T
Lower T
23
22
21
20
Comfort temperature (°C)

Day of year

Figure 8 Adaptive comfort ranges using London DSY

27 26 25 24 Upper T Lower T 23 22 21 20 Comfort temperature (°C)
27
26
25
24
Upper T
Lower T
23
22
21
20
Comfort temperature (°C)

Day of year

Figure 9 Adaptive comfort ranges using Manchester DSY

27

26 25 24 Upper T Lower T 23 22 21 Comfort temperature (°C)
26
25
24
Upper T
Lower T
23
22
21
Comfort temperature (°C)

20

Day of year

Figure 10 Adaptive comfort ranges using Edinburgh DSY

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

2.3.2.2 Comfort Based on Clothing Levels Quantitative analysis was also carried out to determine the effect of clothing levels and air speed on thermal comfort using the heat-balance approach set out by Fanger.

In the following figures, it is assumed that the indoor air temperature is the same as the operative temperature. That is, indoor air temperature and mean radiant temperature are the same.

As typical office conditions are at a clothing level of 1.0 clo (occupants wearing suits) and an activity level of 1 met, the first graph shows comfort predictions for 1 clo and 1 met.

70

60 50 40 0.05m/s 0.1m/s 0.15m/s 30 20 10 0 20 21 22 23 24
60
50
40
0.05m/s
0.1m/s
0.15m/s
30
20
10
0
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
2 8
2 9
PPD (%)

Temperature (°C)

Figure 11 Comfort predictions for 1 clo and 1 met

At a temperature of 24°C, the PPD just about satisfies the 10% PPD maximum recommendation. However, at a temperature of 26°C, the PPD doubles.

The next two graph show comfort predictions for reduced clothing levels of 0.7 and 0.5 clo, respectively and the same activity level of 1 met.

60

50 40 0.05m/s 0.1m/s 0.15m/s 30 20 10 0 20 21 22 23 24 25
50
40
0.05m/s
0.1m/s
0.15m/s
30
20
10
0
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
2 8
2 9
PPD (%)

Temperature (°C)

Figure 12 Comfort predictions for 0.7 clo and 1 met

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

60

50 40 0.05m/s 0.1m/s 0.15m/s 30 20 10 0 20 21 22 23 24 25
50
40
0.05m/s
0.1m/s
0.15m/s
30
20
10
0
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
2 8
2 9
PPD (%)

Temperature (°C)

Figure 13 Comfort predictions for 0.5 clo and 1 met

As the clothing level is reduced, the PPD also reduces, and for a clothing level of 0.5 clo, which is not unreasonable for summer office dress, an indoor temperature of 26°C yields a PPD that is well within the 10% maximum limit, even at low air speeds. One can see from all three graphs that increasing air speed reduces the PPD even further.

2.3.3 HVAC SYSTEM AND BUILDING FAÇADE EFFECTS The previous discussion has not considered the possible effects of the type of space conditioning system employed or the influence of the design of the façade. Both will affect comfort through, in the case of the façade, radiant temperatures, and in that of the HVAC system, both radiant temperatures and air speed and possibly relative humidity.

2.3.3.1 Air Speed

The effect of air speed is demonstrated in Section 4.2.2 where it is shown that as space temperatures rise, comfort improves with increasing air speed. This suggests that ceiling air supply systems providing significant mixing might be preferred. Typical air speeds for these systems lie in the range of 0.1 to 0.2 m/s whereas floor systems generally

generate air speeds below 0.1 m/s.

2.3.3.2 Radiant Temperature

The analysis presented in Section 4.2.2 assumed that the temperature of the space surfaces was close to that of the temperature of the air. This is not necessarily the case in particular in locations close to the façade and where chilled surfaces are employed by the HVAC system. The operative temperature described in Section 3.2 shows that at low air speeds air and radiant temperatures have an equal influence on the comfort temperature. It is therefore important to minimise both the solar transmission and the use of solar- absorbing elements in components of the glazing system adjacent to the occupied space.

The influence of radiant temperature on comfort is demonstrated in Figures 14-16 which has been calculated for an activity level of 1 met. These figures clearly demonstrate the significant effect that surface temperature can have on comfort. The lower limit of mean radiant temperature of 22°C is thought to be a practical minimum with a typical chilled ceiling installation. The validity of the use of the Fanger comfort equations with chilled surfaces has is demonstrated in papers by Hodder and Loveday.

40

35 1 MET and 0.05m/s air speed CLO=1 CLO=0.7 CLO=0.5 30 25 20 15 10
35
1
MET and 0.05m/s air speed
CLO=1
CLO=0.7
CLO=0.5
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
22 23
24
25
26
27
2 8
2 9
Persons dissatisfied (PPD) (%)

Mean radiant temperature (°C)

Figure 14 Comfort predictions for 0.05 m/s and 1 met

40

35 1 MET and 0.1m/s air speed CLO=1 CLO=0.7 CLO=0.5 30 25 20 15 10
35
1
MET and 0.1m/s air speed
CLO=1
CLO=0.7
CLO=0.5
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
22 23
24
25
26
27
2 8
Persons dissatisfied (PPD) (%)

Mean radiant temperature (°C)

Figure 15 Comfort predictions for 0.1 m/s and 1 met

40

35

1 MET and 0.15m/s air speed

CLO=1 CLO=0.7 CLO=0.5 30 25 20 15 10 5 0 22 23 24 25 26
CLO=1
CLO=0.7
CLO=0.5
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
22 23
24
25
26
27
2 8
Persons dissatisfied (PPD) (%)

Mean radiant temperature (°C)

Figure 16 Comfort predictions for 0.15 m/s and 1 met

2.3.3.3 Relative Humidity The effect of relative humidity as predicted by the Fanger comfort equation is shown in Figures 17 and 18. These are for a mean air speed of 0.1m/s and clothing levels of 1 and 0.5 clo, respectively.

9 0 8 0 70 60 Relative humidity % 30 40 50 60 70 50
9
0
8
0
70
60
Relative humidity %
30
40
50
60
70
50
CLO=1 Vel=0.1m/s
40
30
20
10
0
20 21
22
23
24
25
26
27
2 8
2 9
30
Persons dissatisfied (PPD) (%)

Operative temperature (°C)

Figure 17 Effect of relative humidity at 1 clo and 0.1 m/s

70

60 50 Relative humidity % 30 40 50 60 70 40 CLO=0.5 Vel=0.1m/s 30 20
60
50
Relative humidity %
30
40
50
60
70
40
CLO=0.5
Vel=0.1m/s
30
20
10
0
20 21
22
23
24
25
26
27
2 8
2 9
30
Persons dissatisfied (PPD) (%)

Operative temperature (°C)

Figure 18 Effect of relative humidity at 0.5 clo and 0.1 m/s

These figures indicate that as the operative temperature is increased, comfort decreases with increasing relative humidity. This is because as relative humidity increases, more heat is required to be lost by perspiration, so there is a tendency for people to feel warmer. This decrease in thermal comfort is relatively small and confirms the CIBSE guidance that humidity within the range of 40% to 70% is generally acceptable. Furthermore, relaxing the clothing levels improves the PPD at a higher operative temperature.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

2.3.4 PRODUCTIVITY IN OFFICES

2.3.4.1 Technical Memoranda TM24:1999

The CIBSE Technical Memoranda TM24:1999 provides a state- of-the-art literature review of the effects of the physical environment on workplace productivity, especially that of ‘white-collar’ knowledge-based workers in offices. One complication to measuring productivity based on environmental factors, however, is that productivity is highly dependent on motivation and the ability to perform a task. As is stated in TM24, “Aronoff and Kaplan propose that the greater the knowledge component of the work, the more difficult it is to develop reliable measures of productivity”. However, Wyon (1993) argues that the effect of environmental factors on productivity can be typically on the order of 5-15%. Clearly, there is some controversy in correlating productivity and the environment.

Although conditions conducive to optimum comfort do not necessarily equate to optimum productivity, TM24 states that in general, “optimum conditions for comfort are the most appropriate for performance”. As a reminder, productivity is defined as the ratio of output to input, and output of work can be measured in the following seven terms:

Quantity.

Quality.

Accuracy.

Withdrawal.

Absenteeism.

Tardiness.

Turnover.

The general conclusion drawn from the literature review is that “the optimum temperature depends on the subject’s activity (task), clothing and adaptation”. Tests done in a lab or in an industrial setting show that there is a drop in mental performance at temperatures greater than 33°C. However, these tests have not been extended to office-type settings.

One other important general point to note on productivity is the Hawthorne Effect, where workers are more motivated if they believe that management are taking an active interest in their well-being, even if the actual environmental conditions are made worse.

2.3.4.2 Studies on the Effect of Temperature on

Productivity A few studies showing the effect of temperature on productivity have been reviewed in TM24. Conclusions drawn from the various studies mostly relate to tasks involving manual labour and factory work.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

Wyon’s 1974 study on typewriting performance shows that “typewriting speed…was 40 to 50% slower at 24°C than at 20°C. However,…there was no significant difference in performance after one week”. This gives confidence in the adaptive theory. In a different study on mental performance, Wyon et al. (1979) conclude the following:

At 28°C, sentence comprehension and a multiplication task were performed more slowly.

At 26°C, memory recognition was optimised.

A slow increase in temperature adversely affected concentration and clear thinking, while increasing the temperature slowly (up to 26°C) improved memory and cue utilisation.

Temperature did not have a noticeable effect on spelling, vocabulary, reading, creativity, manual dexterity, and perseverance.

Figure 19 Shows the relationship between temperature and performance (Wyon 1986).

+50 Comfort range +40 Accidents +30 +20 +10 Temperature (°C) 0 10 15 20 25
+50
Comfort range
+40
Accidents
+30
+20
+10
Temperature (°C)
0
10
15
20
25
30
-10
-20
Mental performance
-30
-40
Manual dexterity
Work rate
-50
Speed and sensitivity of figure
Change in productivity (%)

Figure 19 Graph showing relationship between temperature and performance

It is clear from Figure 19 that overall mental performance decreases with increasing temperature.

2.3.5 STUDIES USING OBJECTIVE INDICATORS Seppänen et al. analysed 24 relevant studies that looked at objective indicators with measurable task output such as text processing, simple calculations, customer service telephone time, and total handling time per customer for call-centre workers. They have earlier concluded in a previous study that optimum productivity occurs at 22°C for office-type work, with a 2% decrease in performance for every degree C temperature increase for temperatures between 25°C and 32°C. For temperatures between 21°C and 25°C, there is no effect of increased temperatures on performance.

In their latest analysis of the various relevant studies, Seppänen et al. found that “performance increases with temperature up to 21-22°C, and that performance decreases with temperature above 23-24°C”.

The authors have also developed an equation relating productivity to room temperature.

P = 0.1647524T – 0.0058274T 2 + 0.0058274T 2

+ 0.0000623T 3 – 0.4685328

Where:

(Equation 5.2.1)

P

= productivity relative to maximum value

T

= room temperature (°C)

However, the authors give a caveat noting a high level of statistical uncertainty in this relationship.

2.3.6 Studies Using Self-Assessment Surveys

Humphreys & Nicol’s (2006) SCATs project looked at self- assessed surveys of productivity. The surveys were conducted for over 4500 subjects in the 5 aforementioned countries.

Of the environmental variables considered – room temperature, humidity, air movement, horizontal illuminance, noise level, CO 2 concentration, and country – the perceived productivity had the highest dependence on country, followed by room temperature. The maximal productivity occurred between 21°C and 25°C, falling slightly at temperatures outside this range. For example, the marginal means of perceived productivity dropped from 0.00 at 24.8°C to -0.15 at 26.2°C. According to the self-assessment surveys, humidity, air movement, noise level, and CO 2 concentration had little effect on productivity. Horizontal illuminance had a small effect on productivity.

The authors also point out that an increase in overall comfort had a positive correlation with perceived productivity, and they conclude that overall comfort is a good indicator and predictor of perceived productivity.

2.3.7 New Methodology

A new method called Chaos Theory is being considered by researchers at the Electronic Navigation Research Institute (ENRI) in Tokyo to study the interrelationship between fatigue, productivity, and thermal comfort. The Chaos Theory uses a non-dimensional variable known as the Ljpunov exponent,

which is a measure of fatigue based on speech samples using a software program. The researchers are making two important assumptions – one, that fatigue and productivity are correlated, and two, that fatigue and thermal comfort are correlated. At the time of the article, which appeared in 2002, research has been limited to Japanese subjects, but Oxford Brookes University are looking into funding for developing the research further (McCartney & Humphreys).

2.4 CONCLUSIONS The literature review of current work on thermal comfort and productivity yield many differing conclusions, from different suggestions on comfortable temperature bands to different methodologies and approaches to measuring productivity. With comfort and productivity highly dependent on subjective variables, it is difficult to provide absolute recommendations without taking multiple factors into account, many of which are not easily quantifiable. For example, thermal comfort votes can change depending on which thermal sensation scale is used.

The trend shown in the latest versions of the various thermal comfort standards and guides is for an adaptive approach to be taken for free-running buildings, and some also suggest this approach for heated or cooled buildings. A recommendation is for the indoor air temperature to change according to the running mean outdoor temperature, so that there is a gradual adjustment to the setpoint temperature between summer and winter operation during the mid- seasons. A gradual ramping up or down of the setpoint temperatures with outdoor temperatures will take history and past experience into account, allowing occupants to have more appropriate clothing levels.

As seen from the adaptive comfort analysis carried out on the TRY and DSY data, an indoor design temperature of 24°C – with an allowance for a peak temperature of 26°C – is acceptable for thermal comfort. Comfort studies usually use operative temperature as a reference. This may differ from the control temperature. As mentioned earlier, thermostat sensors rarely measure operative temperature, but appropriate air temperatures should be attained to ensure that the resulting operative temperatures fall within the acceptable comfort range. Based on Fanger’s approach, it is also shown that, at a peak operative temperature of 26°C, reducing clothing levels will decrease the PPD. As a consequence, it is suggested that a peak operative temperature of 26°C is acceptable. It is also shown that both the type of space conditioning system and building façade are important when considering comfort conditions at elevated air temperatures. Humidity is not shown to have a very significant effect on thermal comfort in the office environment.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

In the case of productivity, the following are controversial topics related to the effects of temperature (and other environmental factors) on productivity:

Does optimum temperature for comfort equate to optimum temperature for productivity and performance?

When considering productivity in an office, which tasks should be given more weight in the studies? Manual dexterity? Concentration? Memory? Spelling?

Is it possible to simply extricate results showing the effects of indoor air temperature alone on productivity, or are there intricate dependencies on other factors that must be accounted for as well (e.g., management, psychology, motivation, camaraderie, etc.)?

One of the most significant impacts on both thermal comfort and productivity based on self-assessment surveys is perceived control. Because individuals vary so much, it is hard to please everyone, and what is considered comfortable for one person may not be considered comfortable for another. With individual control, people can adjust their local environments until they are satisfied and comfortable.

Although not directly related to this study raising the setpoint may require more attention to design and commissioning, in particular humidity control. This is because the headroom has been reduced.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

3. Energy consumption

3.1 INTRODUCTION

The British Council for Offices has commissioned Ove Arup & Partners, Ltd to carry out a study investigating the effect of raising the cooling setpoint in office buildings from 22ºC to

24ºC. Specifically, there is an opportunity for the British Council for Offices (BCO) to adjust their current guideline recommendation of summer indoor design air temperature for air-conditioned spaces from 22°C to 24°C. Therefore, the impacts of such an adjustment will need to be assessed in terms of energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions.

In order to assess these impacts four typical office air conditioning systems were modelled using a spreadsheet based system simulation model. The reason for using this approach was to enable only those aspects of operation that are affected by the setpoint change to be isolated and examined in detail without having to model the entire building and system in detail which would have been uneconomical and unnecessary.

3.2 METHOD

The study took the form of the simplified modelling of four system types. The approach taken was somewhat similar to that used in the two most frequently used dynamic thermal models (DTMs) in the UK where the plant performance is calculated using a numerical representation of the psychrometric chart. The psychrometric algorithms used satisfy the requirements of CIBSE TM33 (CIBSE 2006) and were also used to produce the reference data set for Test G10 – Air handling unit test. The calculations employed hourly values of external dry bulb and wet bulb for the whole of the appropriate CIBSE Test Reference Year. This section describes those systems and the way in which they were modelled.

3.2.1 SYSTEM TYPES The four selected systems were fan coil units, variable air volume, under floor air distribution and active chilled beams.

3.2.1.1 Fan Coil Units (FCU) Figure 20 is a diagram showing how an FCU system operates. Fresh air is introduced to the space from a central air handling unit. The fan coil unit in the space draws in room air and either heats or cools it depending on the gains and losses in the space. The model assumed the following:

Fresh air quantity – Minimum as specified by the BCO (16l/s per person) to meet fresh air supply demand for the occupants.

Supply temperature – 10ºC below room temperature.

Humidity control – dehumidification only to maintain a maximum space relative humidity of 60% via control of supply air moisture content.

Humidification is not modelled because this would only be required when heating for which there is no proposed change the air temperature setpoint.

heating for which there is no proposed change the air temperature setpoint. Figure 20 Diagram of

Figure 20 Diagram of a fan coil unit system

3.2.1.2 Variable Air Volume (VAV) Figure 21 is a diagram of a VAV system. In this system air is supplied from a central air handling unit again at a temperature about 10ºC below the room cooling setpoint. The air supply rate is at a considerably greater rate than with the FCU system because all the cooling is carried out by the supply air (as opposed to the fan coil system where a significant proportion of the cooling is dealt with by equipment installed within the space). In order to minimise the energy required to heat and cool the air return, air is mixed with the fresh air within the central plant in such proportions as to minimise the heating and cooling energy. Assumptions:

Fresh air quantity – The minimum as specified by the BCO (16l/s per person) to meet the fresh air supply demands for the occupants. The maximum level is 100% fresh air. The proportion depends on the optimum mixing to minimise cooling or heating energy demand.

Supply temperature – 10ºC below room temperature.

Humidity control – Dehumidification only to maintain a maximum space relative humidity of 60% via control of supply air moisture content.

humidity of 60% via control of supply air moisture content. Figure 21 Diagram of a variable

Figure 21 Diagram of a variable air volume system

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

3.2.1.3 Under Floor Air Distribution (UFAD) Figure 22 shows a diagram outlining the principle of operation of an under floor air distribution system. Air is supplied from a central air handling unit to an under floor plenum and then to the room via swirl diffusers. This is designed to remove the heat gains from the occupied level and take them for extract in the ceiling. As a result the supply temperature is significantly higher than that for the other systems and gives rise to the potential for large amounts of free cooling where outside air is used to achieve the cooling rather than using the cooling coils. Assumptions:

Fresh air quantity – The minimum as specified by the BCO (16l/s per person) to meet the fresh air supply demands for the occupants. The maximum level is 100% fresh air. The proportion depends on the optimum mixing to minimise cooling or heating energy demand.

Supply temperature – Typically 18ºC.

Humidity control – Dehumidification only to maintain a maximum space relative humidity of 60% via control of supply air moisture content.

Extract through lighting fitting and ceiling void Hot ventilated air More mixing of room air
Extract through lighting fitting and ceiling void
Hot ventilated air
More mixing of room
air at low level
Solar
V~0.6m/s
heat
V~0.2m/s
transmission
V~2m/s

Figure 22 Diagram of an under floor air distribution system

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

3.2.1.4 Active Chilled Beams (ACB) Figure 23 is a diagram showing the principle of operation of an active chilled beam system. Air is supplied from a central air handling unit into the chilled beam at a rate slightly higher than that for the fan coil system. This supply air is used to entrain room air into the beam also where it passes over a cooling coil. Assumptions:

Fresh air quantity – Slightly more than the minimum specified by the BCO (16l/s per person) to meet fresh air supply demand for the occupants.

Supply temperature – Typically 14ºC.

Humidity control – dehumidification only to maintain a maximum space relative humidity of 60% via control of supply air moisture content.

Cooling coil Primary air Recessed in false ceiling
Cooling coil
Primary air
Recessed in false ceiling

Figure 23 Diagram of an active chilled beam system

3.2.2 MODELLING THE SYSTEMS The systems described above were modelled using the spreadsheet simulation tool and the effect of changing the setpoint from 22±2ºC to 24±2ºC compared for three climates – Edinburgh, London and Manchester.

3.2.2.1 Fan Coil Unit

For the fan coil unit the only variables affected by the change in setpoint from 22±2ºC to 24±2ºC are the occupant gains and the energy required to condition the fresh air for

supply to the space. The occupant gains are explained fully in 3.2.4.1. The main gains in the space are met by the fan coil unit itself and the actual magnitude of these gains are only marginally altered by the change in setpoint.

The calculation set up in a spreadsheet had the following steps:

Calculate the latent gains from the occupants and from this then calculate the required moisture content of the supply air to maintain a relative humidity below 60% in the space.

Calculate the cooling energy required to meet this moisture content and the supply temperature.

3.2.2.2 Variable Air Volume

With a variable air volume system the entire system is affected by the change in setpoint since the air supply rate varies with the heat gains to the space.

The order of calculation set up in the spreadsheet was as follows:

Calculate the necessary supply rate to offset the loads in the space. These loads were produced using a dynamic thermal model simulating a single office module.

Calculate the required moisture content of the supply air to maintain an in-room RH of less than 60%.

Calculate the mixing of return air from the room and the fresh air to minimise the amount of energy used in cooling the supply air. In reality this is known as an economiser and the spreadsheet is a simplified version of this.

Calculate the cooling energy required to take the mixed air to the supply conditions.

The office module used to produce the load profiles was set up as follows:

Floor plan – Rectangular, 6m wide by 4.5m deep, 3m high.

Glazing – 60% of façade area, U-value of 1.7 W/m 2 K, g-value of 0.62 with roller blind.

Constructions – Part L 2006 standard U-values, no exposed thermal mass.

Loads – Occupants at 1 person per 10m 2 , lighting at 12 W/m 2 and small power at 20 W/m 2 .

3.2.2.3 Under Floor Air Distribution

The under floor air distribution system is, in many ways, like the VAV system in that the supply air provides all the cooling to the space. However the supply rate and temperature are fixed. Generally speaking UFAD systems will not be used in areas where loads vary significantly and where they are a supplementary cooling system will normally be installed. As such the model used only considered a core area of a building where loads will be, more or less, constant.

The order of calculation set up in the spreadsheet was as follows:

Calculate the required moisture content of the supply air to maintain an in-room RH of less than 60%.

Calculate the mixing of return air from the room and the fresh air to minimise the amount of energy used in cooling the supply air. In reality this is known as an economiser and the spreadsheet is a simplified version of this.

Calculate the cooling energy required to take the mixed air to the supply conditions.

3.2.2.4 Active Chilled Beams

An active chilled beam system operates in a similar manner to a fan coil unit system. The main difference is that the supply air rate is normally about 25% higher. As such the relative differences caused by the change in setpoint will be the same. Because of this no specific model was produced and the results for fan coil units should be considered where a chilled beam system is of interest.

3.2.3 SYSTEM EFFICIENCIES In order to consider the actual savings due to the change in setpoint it was necessary to include the efficiency of the chiller, its coefficient of performance (COP). This is the ratio of the amount of heat removed by the chiller to the amount energy required to do so. Due to the way chillers work (pumping heat from one location to another) it is normal to have COP’s of 4 or more, in other words for every kWh consumed by the chiller 4kWh of heat would be removed. For the purposes of this study a COP of 4.25 was assumed. Modern chillers with magnetic bearings can achieve COP’s greater than 7.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

3.2.4 OTHER CONSIDERATIONS

3.2.4.1 Metabolic rate

The human body gives off heat in two forms known as sensible and latent. The sensible component is made up of convection and radiation, and the latent component arises from perspiration and exhalation. It is the latent heat that has the greatest effect in the systems as it defines the moisture level of the supply air. For a given activity the total amount of energy given off by the human body is constant but depending on the temperature of the air and surfaces around the body the split between latent and

sensible heat varies.

Figure 24 shows this variation of sensible and latent gain with temperature.

140

120 Sensible Latent 100 8 0 60 40 20 0 20 22 24 26 2
120
Sensible
Latent
100
8
0
60
40
20
0
20
22
24
26
2 8
30
32
34
36
Gain per person (W)

Temperature (°C)

Figure 24 The effect of temperature on occupant heat gains

3.2.4.2 Boiler and Chiller Efficiencies

One possible consequence of raising the setpoint is the opportunity to increase the temperature of the chilled water supplied to both the central air handling unit cooling coils and to any cooling coils in room units (such as fan coils or active chilled beams).

The main effect of doing this is to increase the coefficient of performance of the chiller. The actual magnitude of this change depends on the particular piece of equipment but Figure 25 gives an idea of the magnitude of the increases in efficiency that might occur. The ‘cold side’ axis represents the temperature of the water sent to the cooling coil and the COP axis is the Carnot efficiency of the chiller. This is a theoretical maximum efficiency that cannot be achieved in practice but the relative improvement due to change of temperature will be very similar.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

This approach is clearly very approximate. In order to provide an accurate assessment of the effect of an increase in setpoint on chiller performance it would be necessary to use a detailed model of the compressor, heat rejection device and the water circulation components including pumps and cooling coil. Such work is beyond the scope of this study.

15

14 13 12 11 10 10 12 14 16 1 8 20 COP
14
13
12
11
10
10
12
14
16
1 8
20
COP

‘Cold side’

Figure 25 Graph showing the theoretical effect of changing chilled water temperature

As an example a move from 12ºC to 14ºC gives a theoretical increase in efficiency of around 7.5%.

3.3 RESULTS

3.3.1 FAN COIL UNIT Figure 26 shows the percentage reduction in cooling carbon emissions relative to an emission rate of 11.3 kg CO 2 /m 2 (an average rate from type 3 and 4 energy demands in the ECON 19 guide converted using a carbon intensity factor of 0.422 kg CO 2 /kWh). It can be seen that in London, where the cooling demand is greatest, the saving amounts to about 6% with around a 4% saving in Manchester and 3.5% in Edinburgh. If the rise in setpoint is accompanied by an improvement in the COP of the chiller of the order suggested in Section 2.4.2 then these savings increase to 13%, 10% and 9.5% respectively.

7 6 5 4 % 3 2 1 0 London Manchester Edinburgh
7
6
5
4
%
3
2
1
0
London
Manchester
Edinburgh

Figure 26 Percentage reduction in cooling carbon emissions for an FCU system

Figure 27 shows the changes in chiller energy consumption for the FCU system. As expected the trend is the same as for the overall carbon emissions. The saving for the London climate is around 1.6 kWh/m 2 , 1.1 kWh/m 2 for Manchester and 0.9 kWh/m 2 for Edinburgh.

1 8 00

1600 1400 1200 1000 8 00 600 400 200 0 London Manchester Edinburgh Change in
1600
1400
1200
1000
8
00
600
400
200
0
London
Manchester
Edinburgh
Change in energy (Wh/m 2 )

Figure 27 Breakdown of savings by energy (Wh/m 2 ) for an FCU system

0. 8

0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 London Manchester Edinburgh Change in emissions (Kg
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.0
London
Manchester
Edinburgh
Change in emissions (Kg CO 2 /m 2 )

Figure 28 Breakdown of savings by carbon dioxide emissions (kg CO 2 /m 2 ) for an FCU system

3.3.2 VARIABLE AIR VOLUME Figure 29 shows the relative reductions in CO 2 emissions from the VAV system. The results are largely the same as for the FCU system. Hence the breakdowns for energy and CO 2 emissions shown in Figure 30 and Figure 31 and are also the same.

6 5 4 % 3 2 1 0 London Manchester Edinburgh
6
5
4
%
3
2
1
0
London
Manchester
Edinburgh

Figure 29 Percentage reduction in cooling carbon emissions for a VAV system

1 8 00

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

0.7 0.6 0.5 0.4 0.3 0.2 0.1 0.0 London Manchester Edinburgh Change in emissions (Kg
0.7
0.6
0.5
0.4
0.3
0.2
0.1
0.0
London
Manchester
Edinburgh
Change in emissions (Kg CO 2 /m 2 )

Figure 31 Breakdown of savings by carbon dioxide emissions (kg CO 2 /m 2 ) for a VAV system

With this system it may be possible to reduce the amount of air supplied. However, because the room load is not significantly affected by an increase in design temperature a reduced flow will have an influence on air movement within the room, velocities will fall. This could result in an increase in discomfort. In the case of new build, a reduced air flow might be possible, but this would be case specific with the savings highly dependent upon the way the heat gains vary. For these reasons the effect of a reduction in airflow rate has not been considered.

3.3.3 UNDER FLOOR AIR DISTRIBUTION Figure 32 shows the relative reductions in CO 2 emissions for the three climates. In this system the effect of climate is more pronounced but the overall savings are significantly smaller. In London a change of 3.6% is predicted with 0.9% in Manchester and 0.5% in Edinburgh. The reason for this difference will be related to the amount of cooling required, and how much free cooling is achievable. Once again if the suggested improvement in COP is achieved the savings could increase to 9% in London and around 7.5% elsewhere.

1600 4.0 1400 3.5 1200 3.0 1000 2.5 8 00 % 2.0 600 1.5 400
1600
4.0
1400
3.5
1200
3.0
1000
2.5
8
00
%
2.0
600
1.5
400
1.0
200
0
0.5
London
Manchester
Edinburgh
0.0
London
Manchester
Edinburgh
Change in energy (Wh/m 2 )

Figure 30 Breakdown of savings by energy (Wh/m 2 ) for a VAV system

Figure 32 Percentage reduction in cooling carbon emissions for a UFAD system

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

Figure 33 shows that the absolute energy savings are significantly lower than those for the FCU and VAV systems. The main reason for this will be the relatively lower cooling energy used by the UFAD system since the higher supply temperature allows more free cooling to be used.

1000

9 00 8 00 700 600 500 400 300 200 100 0 London Manchester Edinburgh
9
00
8
00
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
London
Manchester
Edinburgh
Change in energy (Wh/m 2 )

Figure 33 Breakdown of savings by energy (Wh/m 2 ) for a UFAD system

0.45 0.40 0.35 0.30 0.25 0.20 0.15 0.10 0.05 0.00 London Manchester Edinburgh Change in
0.45
0.40
0.35
0.30
0.25
0.20
0.15
0.10
0.05
0.00
London
Manchester
Edinburgh
Change in emissions (Kg CO 2 /m 2 )

Figure 34 Breakdown of savings by carbon dioxide emissions (kg CO 2 /m 2 ) for a UFAD system

3.3.4 CONTEXT To place the savings shown above in context the ECON 19 benchmarks for offices have been used as representative of typical buildings. For the type 3 (air conditioned) and type 4 (prestige air conditioned) buildings the cooling electrical energy consumption is of the order of 11% of the total electrical energy consumption. This means that a saving of 6% in cooling energy represents an overall saving of 0.7% of electrical energy. Figure 35 indicates the amount of carbon that might be saved based on a 4,000m 2 office (relatively small) and a 20,000m 2 office (large) are as follows. The range for each system under each office size is due to the three different climates.

Saving in tonnes CO 2 per annum

System type

Small office

Large office

Fan coil unit

1.6 to 2.8

8 to 14

Variable air volume

1.4 to 2.6

7 to 13

Underfloor

0.2 to 1.6

1.2 to 8

Figure 35 Possible carbon savings

3.4 CONCLUSIONS From the results it can be seen that the savings associated with raising the cooling setpoint are not huge but also not negligible. For a simple change in setpoint these savings cannot be ignored. The potential for raising the chilled water temperature could also yield useful savings.

In the case of the variable air volume system it may be possible to reduce the amount of air supplied. However, because the room load is not significantly affected by an increase in design temperature a reduced flow will have an influence on air movement within the room, velocities will fall (Holmes 1974). This could result in an increase in discomfort. In the case of new build a reduced air flow might be possible but this would be case specific with the savings highly dependent upon the way the heat gains vary. For these reasons the effect of a reduction in airflow rate has not been considered.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

4. Acknowledgements

The authors of this report would like to thank Fergus Nicol and Hom Rijal for their time, valuable discussions, and library resources. Also, they would like to thank David Wyon and William Fisk for providing relevant papers and references.

24°C Study: Comfort, Productivity and Energy Consumption

5. References

ASHRAE Standard 55-2004: Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy. American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers (2004)

British Council for Offices Guide 2005: Best practice in the specification for offices. British Council for Offices (2005)

BS EN ISO 7730:2005: Ergonomics of the thermal environment – Analytical determination and interpretation of thermal comfort using calculation of the PMV and PPD indices and local thermal comfort criteria. ISO (2005)

CIBSE Guide A: Environmental Design. Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (2006)

CIBSE Technical Memoranda TM24:1999. Environmental factors affecting office worker performance: A review of evidence. Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (1999)

CIBSE Technical Memoranda TM33:2006. Tests for software accreditation and verification. Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (2006)

De Dear, R J and Brager, G S. Developing an Adaptive Model of Thermal Comfort and Preference. ASHRAE Transactions,

104 (1). 145-167 (1998)

Hodder, S, Loveday, G D L, Parsons, K C, and Taki, A H. Thermal Comfort in Chilled Ceilings and Displacement Ventilation Environments: Vertical Radiant Temperature Asymmetry Effects. Energy and Buildings 27, Issue 2, 167-

173 (1998)

Holmes, M J. Designing Variable Volume Systems for Room Air Movement. HVRA Application Guide 1/74, 1974.

Humphreys, M A and Nicol, J F. Self-Assessed Productivity and the Office Environment: Monthly Surveys in Five European Countries. American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers. DA-07-066

(2006)

Loveday, D L, Parsons, K C, Taki, A H, Hodder S G, and Jeal, L. Designing for Thermal Comfort in Combined Chilled Ceiling/Displacement Ventilation Environments. ASHRAE Transactions. 104, Pt. IB. 901-911 (1998)

McCartney, K J and Humphreys, M A. Thermal comfort and productivity. Indoor Air 2002 Conference.

McCartney, K J and Nicol, J F. Developing an adaptive control algorithm for Europe. Energy and Buildings 34. 623-635

(2002)

Nicol, J F and Humphreys, M A. Adaptive thermal comfort and sustainable thermal standards for buildings. Energy and Buildings 34. 563-572 (2002)

Nicol, J F and Humphreys, M A. Maximum temperatures in European office buildings to avoid heat discomfort. Solar Energy 81. 295-304 (2007)

Olesen, B W and Brager, G S. A Better Way to Predict Comfort. ASHRAE Journal (August 2004)

Ong, B L. Designing for the individual: a radical reading of ISO 7730. Standards for Thermal Comfort: Indoor Air Temperature Standards for the 21st Century. 70-77 (1995)

Oseland, N A. Acceptable Temperature Ranges in Naturally Ventilated and Air-Conditioned Offices. ASHRAE Transactions, 104 (1). 1018-1030 (1998)

Raue, A K, Kurvers, S R, van der Linden, A C, Boerstra, A C, Plokker, W. Dutch Thermal Comfort Guidelines: From weighted temperature exceeding hours towards adaptive temperature limits. Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings: Getting them right. Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, United Kingdom (April

2006)

Seppänen, O, Fisk, W J, and Lei, Q H. Room Temperature and Productivity in Office Work. Proceeding of Healthy Buildings Congress 1. 243-247 (2006)

Wyon, D P. The effects of moderate heat stress on typewriting performance. Ergonomics 17. 309-318 (1974)

Wyon, D P. The effects of indoor climate on performance and productivity: a review. WS and Energi 3. 59-65 (1986) (in Swedish)

Wyon, D P. Healthy buildings and their impact on productivity. Indoor Air 1993: Thermal environment, building technology, cleaning 6. 3-14 (1993)

Wyon, D P, Anderson, I B, and Lundqvist, G R. The effects of moderate heat stress on mental performance. Scandinavian Journal of Work Environment and Health 5. 352-361 (1979)

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