Adaptive comfort actions and passive cooling interventions: implications from a Brisbane school

  • YEAR
    Kuiri, Lisa Johanna
    2016 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science and Space Quality
    Conference Papers


In subtropical southeast Queensland, a common approach to improving thermal comfort in existing classrooms is to use air-conditioners. However increasing reliance on air-conditioners in schools adds to energy costs and increases carbon emissions. Greater understanding of low energy approaches to improving thermal comfort is needed to address this problem. This paper increases understanding of low energy approaches to improving thermal comfort in existing school buildings. In a case study school in Brisbane the impacts of a number of passive cooling interventions to classroom buildings and their surrounds were studied together with the current adaptive behaviours of teachers during perceived over-heating in classrooms. The impact of the interventions on classrooms was evaluated through quantitative data, classroom temperature, collected over 2012 to 2015 and qualitative data, perceptions of teachers of the classrooms, though an online questionnaire and semi-structured interviews with teachers and the Principal in 2015. This paper discusses key findings from the case study: current adaptive actions of teachers and the social and cultural aspects of thermal comfort in classrooms. A significant finding was that air-conditioning some classrooms and not others in the school was seen as an equity issue. Implications from this study could inform a pathway for low energy occupation of classrooms in southeast Queensland.


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