Comfort-related feedforward information: occupants' choice of cooling strategy and perceived comfort

TitleComfort-related feedforward information: occupants' choice of cooling strategy and perceived comfort
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsMeinke, A, Hawighorst, M, Wagner, A, Trojan, J, Schweiker, M
JournalBuilding Research and Information
Pagination1-17
Abstract

Approaches to provide feedforward information to building occupants about the impact of potential actions on individual thermal comfort levels are scarce. Even less is known about the effect of such information on the decision process of occupants to interact with their built environment and their level of comfort after such decisions. In a naturalistic study, participants (N = 76) were given a choice of four actions to counteract thermal discomfort induced by constantly rising room temperatures: removing a piece of clothing, opening the window, switching on the ceiling fan or switching on the air-conditioning. After receiving information about the potential change in comfort and energy consumption of these options, they had to confirm or revise their choice. The vast majority of participants initially chose to open the windows (N = 28) or remove a piece of clothing (N = 37); only a few chose the ceiling fan (N = 2) or the air-conditioning (N = 9). About one-third (N = 23) revised their choice of action; most of them (N = 15) indicated an influence from the provided information. In conclusion, feedforward information can be a useful tool to combat overheating problems by increasing energy-aware behaviour and thermal acceptance.