Evolving Opportunities for Providing Thermal Comfort

The building Industry needs a fundamental paradigm shift in its notion of comfort, to find low-energy ways of creating more thermally dynamic and non-uniform environments.

Gail Brager, Professor of Architecture


Gail Brager, Professor of Architecture, Hui Zhang and Edward Arens, Professor Emeritus of Architecture


Center for the Build Environment at UC Berkeley

Project Description

From the Introduction:

The objective of this paper is to encourage new ways of thinking about designing, or operating, buildings to optimize both comft and energy performace, while hopefully creating more rich and variable environments. The ideas are primiarily illustrated with examples of research done by the Center for the Built Environment (CBE) at the University of California, Bekeley. 

Providing enriched thermal environments must go conjointly with the critically important goal of reducing the energy use in buildings. It is estimated that buildings contribue 39% of the total US greenhouse gass (GHG) emissions primarily due to their operational energy use, and 80% of that energy use is for heating, cooling, ventilating and lighting.

Cost of Comfort:

The paper explores the 'cost of comfort' in buildings including the implications of the perceptions by the occupants.