THERMAL COMFORT

MULTICOMFORT buildings keep themselves at an optimal temperature using very little energy. They’re neither too hot nor too cold – so we can function comfortably, whatever we’re doing.

Background circle gradient - Thermal comfort helps by reducing energy bills, avoiding thermal bridges and improving heating performance.

What is THERMAL COMFORT?

While extremes in temperature can be fatal, even gentle fluctuations can cause discomfort – bedrooms can become too hot to sleep in at night, offices can be too cold to work in during the day, our limbs can get stiff from draughts, and so on.

There’s no ‘one size fits all’ recipe for thermal comfort: it’s the outcome of a well-balanced combination of building systems, which are adapted to both the local climate and the type of activities performed in the particular building.
Creating comfort for employees in an open plan office in Chennai, for example, will require different solutions to those used for school children in a Stockholm classroom or athletes in a New York gym.
The correct mix of systems will enable designers and builders to produce comfortable thermal environments that are adapted to different building users’ needs in any given space and time.

Wrapped up warm - A new born infant in a warmer building

DID YOU KNOW?

More Information

Source: Managing climate risks to well-being and the economy, Adaptation Sub-Committee, Progress Report 2014.

Around 90% of UK hospital wards are of a type that’s prone to overheating, and the ability to control temperatures is often limited.*

Background circle gradient multicomfort thermal Reducing energy bills

What contributes to THERMAL COMFORT?

An efficient building envelope can really enhance thermal comfort.

This is because the envelope – the physical structure of the building – acts as a filter between the exterior and interior climates.

Thermal comfort is affected by many different factors. These include air temperature, humidity, draughts, the surface temperature of surrounding walls, the intensity and type of activities being performed in a building and the clothing occupants are wearing.

Designing for THERMAL COMFORT?

Key considerations for thermal comfort include:

Illustration of a Thermal House using Thermal Comfort to aid in home cooling
Illustration of a Thermal House using Thermal Comfort to maintain the correct home temperature Illustration of a Thermal House using Thermal Comfort for optimum temperature for sleep

1

Air tightness and ventilation

An airtight envelope, together with natural or mechanical ventilation, can control the indoor thermal environment by managing the air exchanges with the outside.

Air tightness and ventilation

An airtight envelope, together with natural or mechanical ventilation, can control the indoor thermal environment by managing the air exchanges with the outside.

2

Thermal inertia

The materials used to construct the building (the choice of brick, stone or wood, for example) have an impact on how quickly changes in weather conditions are felt.

Thermal inertia

The materials used to construct the building (the choice of brick, stone or wood, for example) have an impact on how quickly changes in temperature are felt.

3

Solar gain

Through its overall shape, orientation, number and size of windows and the ability of surfaces to reflect heat, the building envelope can control how much heat from the sun (solar gain) is allowed to enter into the building.

Solar gain

Through its overall shape, orientation, number and size of windows and the ability of surfaces to reflect heat, the building envelope can control how much heat from the sun (solar gain) is allowed to enter into the building.

4

Insulation

Insulating the building envelope and using thermally efficient windows reduces heat loss in winter and conduction heat gains in summer.

Insulation

Insulating the building envelope and using thermally efficient windows reduces heat loss in winter and conduction heat gains in summer.

All of the above factors have a crucial impact on the kind of indoor
climate we choose to live or work in.

Whenever we’re designing or renovating a new space, we need to carefully consider each of these factors in the context of the building’s current function and use, as well as the requirements of future occupants.

Book Icon staying warm

DID YOU KNOW?

More Information

Source: Health, Wellbeing & Productivity in Offices, The next chapter for green building

- World green building council.

A study of office workers showed a reduction in performance of 6% at 30°C and a reduction of 4% at 15°C, compared with a baseline of between 21°C and 23°C.

Background circle gradient
Thermal House Temperature Icon - avoiding cold walls and cold floors

DID YOU KNOW?

More Information

Source: National Energy Action

A cold home is bad for your health and increases the risks of cardiovascular, respiratory and rheumatoid diseases, as well as worsening mental health.

Background circle gradient Avoiding thermal bridges

Learn how our bodies experience THERMAL COMFORT

Find out more about the clever ways that human bodies
react to changes in ambient temperatures.

Explore the other angles of MULTICOMFORT

Thermal Comfort logo - Comfort From Every Angle
Cartoon showing people at different temperatures
Visual Comfort logo - Comfort From Every Angle
Cartoon showing different light levels.
Acoustic Comfort logo - Comfort From Every Ang
Cartoon showing different sounds from everyday life
Indoor Air Comfort Logo - Comfort From Every Angle
Cartoon showing airflow through a house
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