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Individual Thermal Control in the Workplace and Changes in Thermal Preferences in a Day: Norwegian Cellular vs. British Open Plan Layouts

Sally Salome Shahzad, John Brennan and Dimitris Theodossopoulos, 2014
thermal comfort | individual control | workplace | adaptive comfort | steady state theory
Bibliographic info: 8th Windsor Conference, 10-13 April, 2014, Windsor UK
Languages: English

This research suggests that the thermal preference of occupants is subject to change; hence, a particular thermal setting may not be able to constantly satisfy everyone. On the contrary, individual thermal control in the workplace is more likely to increase user comfort and satisfaction. This is examined through environmental measurements, comfort surveys and semi-structured interviews in two office layouts with high and low thermal control. Two Norwegian cellular plan offices that provide each user with control over a window, heating and cooling are compared with two British open plan offices with limited openable windows for users seated around the perimeter of the building. Complementary quantitative and qualitative methodologies and analysis techniques are applied with a particular emphasis on grounded theory and an innovative visual analysing technique. Overall, rather than setting an ‘optimum temperature’ in an endeavour to satisfy all, it is suggested that buildings provide a degree of flexibility to allow occupants to adjust their thermal environment according to their requirements. 


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