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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Field experiments on occupant comfort and office thermal environments in a hot-humid climate

  • Author(s): de Dear, Richard
  • Fountain, M.
  • et al.

This paper presents the main findings of ASHRAE research project RP-702, a field investigation of indoor climates and occupant comfort in 12 air-conditioned office buildings in Townsville, located in Australia’s tropical north. The project replicates an earlier ASHRAE investigation in San Francisco (RP-462). A total of 836 subjects provided 1,2.74 sets of questionnaire responses, each accompanied by a ,full set of physical indoor climatic measurements ,from laboratory-grade instrumentation. Clothing insulation estimates for seated subjects included the incremental effect of chairs. Thermal environmental results are compared with ASHRAE Standard .55-1992 prescriptions. Thermal neutrality, preference, and acceptability results are compared with laboratory-based models and standards. Gender and seasonal effects were minor, and many of the differences from the earlier San Francisco data were explicable in terms of clothing patterns. Most of the thermal dissatisfaction expressed within the Standard 55 comfort zone was associated with requests, for higher air velocity.

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