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User problems with individual temperature control in offices

TitleUser problems with individual temperature control in offices
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsKarjalainen, S, Koistinen, A
JournalBuilding and Environment
Date PublishedAug
ISBN Number0360-1323
Accession NumberWOS:000246257500008

Individual thermal control is important for handling personal differences in thermal preference. Several studies have shown that comfort, health and productivity in offices can be improved by individual thermal control. Local controls for temperature are commonly available in modern office buildings. However, office occupants are often still dissatisfied with the thermal environment and their control options. In this study we used contextual techniques to gain an understanding of the user problems with individual temperature control. A total of 27 office occupants in 13 Finnish buildings were interviewed in their offices. They were asked to show and tell us how they use the controls. The results show that the temperature controls were often not used in thermal discomfort. A diversity of problems with individual temperature control was identified and are listed with proposed solutions. The main reason for the many of the problems is that systems are planned and constructed without a realistic view of their users, and end users are presumed to have knowledge they don't have. The users should be studied and more effort should be put into user interface development. (c) 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.