Recent Enhancements to the Adaptive Comfort Standard in ASHRAE 55-2010

  • YEAR
    de Dear, Richard
    2011 Conference Papers
    Sustainability Issues


Adaptive comfort principles have existed in the form of a regulatory and design standard
(ASHRAE Standard 55-2010) for about seven years now. Being embedded in sustainable building
rating tools such as the US Green Building Council’s LEED and Australia’s Green Star has served to
widen even further the adaptive comfort standard’s user base in recent years. With such widespread
application, a wealth of practical experience has been gained from architects, design engineers and
other practitioners in the business of thermal comfort. The committee charged with responsibility for
maintaining and further developing ASHRAE Standard 55 has recently embarked upon an ambitious
agenda of updates and enhancements to its adaptive comfort processes. After a general discussion of
similarities and differences in approach between the global adaptive comfort standard (ASHRAE 55)
and its European counterpart (EN15251), this paper backgrounds the main issues framing recent
enhancements to ASHRAE 55. In particular two updates are discussed; a) implementation of a
running, weighted mean temperature expression for prevailing outdoor warmth in the adaptive model,
and b) increases to Standard 55’s acceptable upper temperature limits by offsetting with elevated


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