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Cold comfort: thermal satisfaction in academia

Simi Hoque and Ben Weil, 2014
thermal comfort | Student Performance | university classrooms | energy conservation
Bibliographic info: 8th Windsor Conference, 10-13 April, 2014, Windsor UK
Languages: English

This paper presents preliminary data on a series of building comfort experiments conducted in the field. We performed physical in-situ measurements and solicited responses from university students in six different classrooms at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst during three seasons (fall, winter and spring). Our questions focused on the students’ perception of comfort in varied environmental (temperature and humidity, and air speed) conditions. We collected records of the students’ academic performance in the classes, correlating their comfort perceptions to their test scores. Statistical analysis of classroom environmental variables, thermal satisfaction, and student scores suggest that by enhancing thermal comfort, we can improve academic performance. 

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