Guidelines to bridge the gap between adaptive thermal comfort theory and building design and operation practice
Paper i proceeding, 2020

Adaptive thermal comfort guidelines have been developed within the work of Annex 69: “Strategy and practice of adaptive thermal comfort in low energy buildings”. The guidelines have been established based on a framework for adopting adaptive thermal comfort principles in building design and operation developed by the authors. The guidelines target building practitioners, addressing the critical interrelated role building planners, building operators and occupants play. A successful adaptive thermal comfort design, in which design for human thermal adaptation is foreseen, planned, and carefully embedded in the design and operation intent, is based on broad knowledge and understanding of the multiple quantifiable and non-quantifiable factors influencing human perception, as well as human building interaction. Adaptive building design follows a user-centric integrated design approach and therefore it is critical to consider the occupants’ and the operators’ role in buildings already in the design phase. This paper focuses on three main challenges identified earlier and how these are addressed in the guidelines, i.e. i) updating prevailing knowledge about human thermophysiology and adaptation, ii) developing a procedure for design of adaptive opportunities, and iii) providing guidance for operational planning and operation of adaptive buildings. The challenge for future research remains to assess the magnitude of how specific design decisions affect particular adaptive mechanisms.

Adaptive thermal comfort

Climate context

Building energy efficiency

Personal control


Integrated Design



Runa T. Hellwig

Despoina Teli

Chalmers, Arkitektur och samhällsbyggnadsteknik, Installationsteknik

Marcel Schweiker

Joon Ho Choi

M. C.Jeffrey Lee

Rodrigo Mora

Rajan Rawal

Zhaojun Wang

Farah Al-Atrash

Proceedings of Windsor 2020 Resilient comfort

Windsor 2020 Resilient comfort
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