Standard based on an adaptive thermal comfort model can play a major role in reducing energy use whilst maintaining the comfort, productivity and well-being of occupants. This approach recognizes that people’s thermal comfort needs depend on their past and present context and that these needs vary with the outdoor environmental conditions of their location. People’s thermal perceptions – preferences as well as tolerances – are likely to extend over a wider range of temperatures. It allows buildings to operate within broader temperature bands. Theories deals with adaptive thermal comfort model which differentiate the thermal response of occupants in air-conditioned and naturally ventilated buildings. Operative temperature is more suitable index to measure thermal comfort in the building having low indoor air velocities, since the index also accounts for impact of building surface temperatures (radiant temperatures) on human comfort.
The Indian Adaptive Thermal Comfort Model (IMAC) study models for neutral temperatures and acceptability limits for air-conditioned, naturally ventilated, and mixed mode buildings, as derived through an empirical field study specific to the Indian context, offer an energy efficient pathway for its commercial building sector without compromising occupant comfort. The tool can be useful to determine temperature set points for different types of commercial buildings such as- Naturally ventilated buildings, Mix mode buildings and Air-conditioned buildings.
The tool has reference comfort conditions range derived as per adaptive model for Indian cities. These are indicative simplified values using weather files. The tool has inbuilt temperature data for 59 cities of India for which 90% acceptability can be extracted selecting the desired city name. The tool also provides the flexibility to tool users for annual hourly temperature input of any other specific location (as and where required) and hence 90% acceptability results for that city.
This tool is supported by Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India.