Lobbies and Temperatures (08-31-17)

Research by Vargas and her team indicates that lobbies can be useful thermal transition zones.  The team reports that “Maintaining comfort levels while reducing energy demand in buildings in the face of climate change is a key challenge in temperate zones. Creating transitional spaces and thermal variation in buildings may offer a way forward.”  Data were collected in three higher education buildings in the United Kingdom.

Temperature and Decision-Making (08-15-17)

Temperature influences decision-making.  Working with people experiencing temperatures perceived as comfortable, Hadi and her team learned that “cold (warm) temperatures may lead individuals to rely more (less) on emotions when making decisions.”  So, when cold people are more likely to make emotion-based decisions and the reverse is true for those who are warm.  Also, “participants in the affective [emotional] task conditions showed a significant average increase in [perceived] temperature while those individuals in the cognitive condition displayed a significant average decrease in temper

Cooler is Heavier (07-25-17)

Recent research confirms that colder objects seem heavier than ones at a neutral temperature.  Dunn and his team share that “It has long been known that a . . . cooled stimulus is perceived as heavier than the same object at a neutral temperature—termed Weber's Phenomenon (WP). In the current study, we re-examined this phenomenon. . . .  In normal condition, when the same forces were applied [when items weighed the same amount], all subjects displayed a clear preference for the cooled tactile stimulus as being heavier than the tactile-only stimulus. . . .

Thermal Comfort Tool from the CBE (04-13-17)

At the web address below, the Center for the Built Environment at Berkeley shares a free tool for evaluating thermal comfort.

As the web page introducing the tool states, the CBE’s objectives were, in part, to “Develop a web-based graphical user interface for thermal comfort prediction according to ASHRAE Standard 55. Include models for conventional building systems (predicted mean vote) and also for comfort using the adaptive comfort model, and with increased air speeds (for example, when using fans for cooling).”


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