Investigating the principal adaptive comfort relationships for young children
Journal article, 2015

© 2015 Taylor & Francis. Thermal comfort surveys in school classrooms suggest that children have different thermal preferences to adults. This implies a need to revisit the current adult-based thermal comfort models. This paper investigates the principal adaptive comfort relationships that form the basis of adaptive comfort theory, using 2693 pupil thermal sensation responses and measured classroom temperatures from surveys in two naturally ventilated school buildings. The data were examined in two steps. Firstly, each survey set, obtained over one-day visits to the schools, was examined in order to derive the relationship between indoor temperature change and comfort vote with minimum impact of adaptation. Secondly, the data set was investigated over the entire survey period in relation to the weather experienced by the pupils in order to estimate their time for adaptation to outdoor temperature changes. The analysis shows that the basic adaptive comfort relationships are valid for children. However, a difference was found for the correlation coefficients of the comfort temperature to the outdoor running mean temperature between the schools, and a mismatch between their adaptive comfort equations. It is proposed that the difference in the consistency of the weather during the tests is the main reason for this discrepancy.

Thermal comfort

School classrooms

School buildings

Griffiths constant


Natural ventilation

Adaptive comfort


P.A.B. James

M.F. Jentsch

Building Research and Information

0961-3218 (ISSN) 1466-4321 (eISSN)

Vol. 43 3 371-382

Subject Categories

Architectural Engineering

Building Technologies



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