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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Climate, comfort, & natural ventilation: a new adaptive comfort standard for ASHRAE standard 55


Recently proposed revisions to ASHRAE Standard 55, Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy, include a new adaptive comfort standard (ACS) that allows warmer indoor temperatures for naturally ventilated buildings during summer. The ACS is based on the analysis of 21,000 sets of raw data compiled from field studies in 160 buildings, both airconditioned and naturally ventilated, located on four continents in varied climatic zones. This paper summarizes this earlier research, presents some of its findings for naturally ventilated buildings, and discusses the process of getting the ACS incorporated into Std. 55. We suggest ways the ACS could be used for the design, operation, or evaluation of buildings, and for research applications. We also use GIS mapping technology to examine the energy-savings potential of the ACS on a regional scale. Finally, we discuss related new directions for researchers and practitioners involved in the design of buildings and their environmental control systems.

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