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Short-term thermal history in transitional lobby spaces

Vargas Palma, Gloria Angelica (2016) Short-term thermal history in transitional lobby spaces. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Abstract

The dramatic concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is provoking extreme temperatures, where 2°C increase represents a potential risk for humanity. Air conditioning (AC) demands up to 70% of total energy use in buildings, and is extending into moderate climates where it is not necessary. Thermal comfort research has demonstrated that extended exposure to AC environments can significantly modify people’s thermal tolerance and thermal preferences, reducing their ability of adaptation. There is limited research exploring people’s thermal comfort in short-term and dynamic contexts, which alter people’s long-term thermal history. The aim of this thesis is to evaluate people’s short-term thermal history and thermal comfort perception in a real situation in a moderate climate, exploring a dynamic and transient condition repeated in their daily routines. The lobby area where people move from the outdoor to the indoor environment is used as the case study, in order to evaluate how use of the lobby can modify people’s thermal perception. One year of fieldwork research (2013-2014) was conducted in three typical lobby units in Higher Educational Institutions in Sheffield, UK. Thermal comfort surveys and simultaneous climatic measurements were used in this study, involving 1,749 international participants. Findings revealed a seasonal thermal adaptation affecting people’s short-term thermal perception and very rapid changes in people’s thermal comfort perception and preferences when moving from one space to another. Participants’ short-term thermal history was strongly altered by three new identified thermal patterns (flat, sudden and irregular) and a range of temperature differences. The evaluation of 46 thermal patterns revealed a number of considerations that can help to understand people’s thermal perception in the short-term, and which can help to improve people’s thermal adaptation in the long-term. This research contributes with new parameters that support the implementation of energy related strategies, building design guidelines and international standards.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: thermal comfort,thermal history, transitional spaces, lobby areas, HEI in the UK
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Architecture (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.680596
Depositing User: Miss Gloria Angelica Vargas Palma
Date Deposited: 10 Mar 2016 10:29
Last Modified: 03 Oct 2016 13:09
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/12166

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