The Impact of Thermal Comfort Criterial on Energy Consumption of Residential Buildings

  • YEAR
    Ren, Zhengen
    Chen, Dong
    2017 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science
    Conference Papers


In Australia, the current Nationwide House Energy Rating Scheme adopts a variation of the
ASHRAE 55‐2013 adaptive thermal comfort method with a criterion of 90% acceptability. It has been
debated that such a high acceptability requirement may be too strict for residential buildings, and a
criterion of 80% or even 70% acceptability may be adequate. This study evaluates the impact of thermal
comfort criteria on space cooling energy requirement in three typical climates (Melbourne‐heating
dominated, Sydney‐balanced heating and cooling, Darwin‐cooling dominated) in Australia through
building simulation. The results show that under both current and future climates (assuming a global
warming temperature of 2°C), the decrease from 90% to 70% in the acceptability has minor or no impact
on housing cooling energy consumption in Melbourne and Sydney. However, it may have significant
impact on space cooling energy consumption in Darwin (saving more than 40%). It was found that for
high‐set lightweight houses in Darwin, easing the acceptability limits will increase energy star rating by
3.6 stars and 1.6 stars under current and future climates respectively. It was also found that for both
current and future climates easing the acceptability limits from 90% to 80% has greater impact than
reducing from 80% to 70%.


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