Thermal experiences of older people during hot conditions in Adelaide

  • YEAR
    Bills, Rachel
    Soebarto, Veronica
    Williamson, Terence
    2016 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science and Space Quality
    Conference Papers


This study examined the thermal experiences of older people during extreme heat and summer more broadly. A longitudinal field study of thermal comfort and thermal acceptability of conditions during summer 2015-16 was conducted as part of a larger project into the overall thermal comfort of older people in Adelaide, South Australia. The experiences and preferences of the participants were arranged into 3 categories: acceptable thermal sensation votes, warm and hot thermal sensation votes and votes recorded on extreme heat days when the maximum outdoor temperature was 35º Celsius or above during the study period. In each category, participants reported sensations of ‘warm’ and ‘hot’ within the acceptable range of operative temperature and humidity suggested by ASHRAE Standard 55. Participants also expressed a desire to feel cooler within this acceptable range, and described conditions within this range as ‘thermally unacceptable’. These results show that older people may be experiencing thermal conditions differently to younger people. Specifically, it appears that these participants have a desire for cooler temperatures than predicted by ASHRAE Standard 55. The study poses a series of challenges for future research to ensure comfortable and healthy homes for ageing Australians.


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