Thermal comfort, productivity and energy consumption in the tropical office environment: a critical overview
Authors: Law, Teen-Onn; Fay, Roger
Thermal comfort has developed along two distinct models: deterministic and adaptive. We investigate the validity of these models against the increasingly urgent call to reduce building energy consumption. The air-conditioned office, predicated on the deterministic thermal comfort model, expends about 50% of its energy on air-conditioning. In a resource-constrained world, while acknowledging the need for thermal comfort, the parameters of thermal comfort should be re-examined. This paper explores the potential for the adaptive thermal comfort model to provide acceptable levels of thermal comfort while reducing cooling demand in office buildings located in the tropics. It links thermal comfort and productivity with the persistence of air-conditioning in knowledge-based economies located in the tropics.