Investigation of the Relationship of the Thermal Comfort Perception Between the Local and Whole Body Segments in a Workplace Environment

Jun 14, 2017

Traditional air-conditioning methods maintain temperatures in a whole room at a constant level, and much work has been done to assess and improve the thermal comfort and sensations of people in a workplace environment. This study endeavors to identify the relationship of the thermal comfort perception between the local and whole body segments in a workplace environment.

A total of 20 human subjects were tested in the University of Southern California’s climate chamber to determine their physiological parameters and subjective perceptions of environment. Ambient temperature was documented during the tests, while the human subjects were exposed to a warm, cool, or neutral environment. Based on these tests, correlation and stepwise analysis are applied to identify the relative thermally sensitive skin areas, their contribution rate to the overall thermal sensation, and potential skin area combinations that have high correlation with overall thermal sensation.

Results show that local thermal sensations are high correlated with the overall thermal sensation, the thermal sensation of arm is particularly strongly correlated with the overall thermal sensation. Besides, with different genders and BMIs, there exists a sensation difference even in the same environment temperature. The study also identifies the different impacts of local thermal sensation while predicting the overall thermal sensation by applying a data driven model.

keywords: Thermal sensation, Thermal comfort, Thermal environment

Qi Wang (University of Southern California)
Joon-Ho Choi (University of Southern California)
Marc Schiler (University of Southern California)
Douglas Noble (University of Southern California)
Presented at: 
ARCC 2017 Conference – Architecture of Complexity (Salt Lake City, UT)
Published & professionally reviewed by: 
Architectural Research Centers Consortium (ARCC)
University of Utah

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