Adaptive thermal comfort in naturally ventilated dormitory buildings in Changsha, China

Zhibin Wu, Nianping Li*, Pawel Wargocki, Jingqing Peng, Jingming Li, Haijiao Cui

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


This research focused on investigating thermal comfort in naturally ventilated (NV) dormitory buildings in hot summer and cold winter (HSCW) climate zone in China. A field study was conducted during the summer of 2016 in Changsha, located in HSCW climate zone. The occupants reported subjective thermal perception using questionnaires and ambient environmental variables were measured simultaneously. A total of 11 NV dormitory buildings were investigated. 467 valid sets of measurement data and subjective questionnaires were obtained. Both Griffiths and linear regression analysis showed that the neutral operative temperature (To) was 26.2 °C. The upper limit for 80% acceptability was determined as 28.5 °C. The most acceptable operative temperature was 26.6 °C. 80% of occupants were comfortable at the temperature range between 25 °C and 28.7 °C. Based on this study, the adaptive model was developed and verified. The adaptive behaviors of clothing adjustment and air velocity adjustment were closely correlated to indoor To. The functions of adaptive thermal behaviors can be used for building simulation. The results can be used to assess indoor thermal comfort in buildings, and help to build a more rigorous database for building designing.
Original languageEnglish
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Pages (from-to)56-70
Number of pages15
Publication statusPublished - 2019


  • Naturally ventilated dormitory buildings
  • Neutral temperature
  • Thermal adaptation
  • Thermal comfort

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