Rethinking user behaviour comfort patterns in the South of Spain-What users really do

Samuel Domínguez-Amarillo, Jesica Fernández-Agüera, Juan José Sendra, Susan Roaf

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Abstract

Although energy analysis techniques can contribute to substantial energy savings in housing stock retrofitting operations, the outcomes often deviate significantly from the predicted results, which tend to overestimate potential savings by overestimating the starting energy baselines, particularly in southern Europe. This deviation can be largely attributed to occupant practice relating to the use of air conditioning facilities and the temperatures at which occupants feel comfortable. The patterns observed differed widely from standard values. In this study environmental variables, primarily indoor air temperature both with and without HVAC, were monitored in occupied dwellings for a full year. The data gathered were supplemented with surveys on occupants' temperature-related behaviour to define comfort patterns. The findings show that the standards in place are not consistent with actual comfort-accepted patterns in medium- to low-income housing in southern Spain, where energy consumption was observed to be lower than expected, mostly because occupants endure unsuitable, even unhealthy, conditions over long periods of time. A new user profile, better adjusted to practice in southern Europe, particularly in social housing, is proposed to reflect the current situation.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4448
JournalSustainability
Volume10
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2018

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Keywords

  • Comfort patterns
  • Monitoring of environmental variables
  • Thermal comfort
  • User behaviour

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law

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