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Open Access Publications from the University of California


The Department of Architecture is part of the College of Environmental Design (CED) at UC Berkeley. For more information please visit our website at:

Department of Architecture

There are 400 publications in this collection, published between 1980 and 2023.
Recent Work (1)
Open Access Policy Deposits (328)

Nudging the adaptive thermal comfort model

The recent release of the largest database of thermal comfort field studies (ASHRAE Global Thermal Comfort Database II) presents an opportunity to perform a quality assurance exercise on the first generation adaptive comfort standards (ASHRAE 55 and EN15251). The analytical procedure used to develop the ASHRAE 55 adaptive standard was replicated on 60,321 comfort questionnaire records with accompanying measurement data. Results validated the standard's current adaptive comfort model for naturally ventilated buildings, while suggesting several potential nudges relating to the adaptive comfort standards, adaptive comfort theory, and building operational strategies. Adaptive comfort effects were observed in all regions represented in the new global database, but the neutral (comfort) temperatures in the Asian subset trended 1–2°C higher than in Western countries. Moreover, sufficient data allowed the development of an adaptive model for mixed-mode buildings that closely aligned to the naturally ventilated counterpart. We present evidence that adaptive comfort processes are relevant to the occupants of all buildings, including those that are air conditioned, as the thermal environmental exposures driving adaptation occur indoors where we spend most of our time. This suggests significant opportunity to transition air conditioning practice into the adaptive framework by programming synoptic- and seasonal-scale set-point nudging into building automation systems.

Why is the Indian Sari an all-weather gear? Clothing insulation of Sari, Salwar-Kurti, Pancha, Lungi, and Dhoti

Barring a few reports on the clothing insulation of sari and salwar-Kurti, little is known about the other traditional ensembles men use in South Asia and beyond. To accurately account for the thermal insulation on the human body, simulation studies necessitate insulation on various body parts. This study reports the segmental level insulation of 52 traditional ensembles of both genders recorded in a climate chamber.


Indian garments are worn as ensembles. We focused on the drape, as traditional ensembles offer great opportunities for thermal adaptation through changing drape. We researched on 41 sari ensembles, four salwar-kurti and seven men’s’ ensembles, such as dhoti, pancha and lungi. More than the material, drape has a significant effect on the clothing insulation. For the same pieces of garments, the clo value of the ensemble varied by as much as 3.1 to 32 %, through changing drape in saris, the lower values being associated with lighter saris. A similar trend but somewhat lower variation was noticed in men’s’ ensembles. This makes the sari an all weather ensemble. Interestingly in the pancha ensemble, men can achieve 47% reduction in the clo value with minor variations. The adaptation possibility in traditional ensembles is enormous.

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