An ASHRAE grant program is funding the creation of a database to help better understand human thermal comfort in residential and commercial buildings.
The grants, totaling $180,000, are awarded to full-time graduate students of ASHRAE-related technologies. The project will identify previous thermal comfort and occupant responses in residential and commercial buildings worldwide.
The resulting international database will include measurements of all the physical conditions affecting thermal comfort (air temperature, humidity, air movement, radiant temperature and occupant clothing and metabolic rate). In addition, subjective surveys (thermal sensation, comfort, perceived air quality, and wherever possible, adaptive behavior and interaction with building controls) will be tallied and included.
The database is expected to be used to analyze trends in thermal comfort and behavior patterns and evaluate current comfort prediction tools. It will take into consideration relevance to different building types, climates, cultures, and demographics.