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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Adaptive Comfort in Mixed-Mode Buildings: Research Support Facility, National Renewable Energy Lab

  • Author(s): Brager, Gail
  • Pigman, Margaret
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY-NC-SA' version 3.0 license

The RSF is performing well for the occupants in terms of indoor environmental quality (IEQ), particularly with respect to air quality. The building scores in the 90th percentile of the buildings in the CBE database for thermal comfort and air quality satisfaction. Nevertheless, less than 80% of the building’s occupants are satisfied with temperature, air movement, and air quality, so there is room for improvement to meet the code standard.

The new survey methods allowed us to explore how occupants use and view their windows. The windows were rated extremely highly in terms of accessibility, usability, and responsiveness; however, they are not used as often as expected. Only 6% of window users adjust their windows on a daily basis, compared to 38% weekly and 41% monthly. The most frequently cited reason for opening windows is fresh air, followed by wanting to feel cooler, and then the desire to increase air movement.  Other reasons for opening and closing windows include the desire to save energy or increase the connection with the outdoors.  From this it is clear that people operate windows for more than just thermal comfort.

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