A Theoretical Investigation of Possible Relationships between Energy Efficiency Measures and Thermal Comfort in Office Buildings
People tend to spend a lot of their lives indoors. The importance of a sufficient level of indoor thermal comfort is therefore essential. There are both national and international energy usage goals that must be met and meanwhile the thermal indoor climate should also be given priority and kept at a satisfactory level. With this issue in mind, it is of interest to investigate how the experienced thermal comfort is affected by different energy efficiency measures. This study aims to, by using a computer simulation tool, investigate the relationship between energy efficiency measures and thermal comfort within an existing office building.An evaluation of six different energy efficiency measures showed that the thermal comfort is generally increased when the energy usage is decreased. However, there are exceptions with a decreased level of thermal comfort, which makes it impossible to justify all energy efficiency measures from a thermal comfort perspective. This states the importance of a comprehensive evaluation of a proposed energy efficiency measure prior performing it in reality. A final sensitivity analysis highlighted the importance of estimating the clothing levels and metabolic rates properly, as these factors are of great importance for the final results.
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