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Rethinking User Behaviour Comfort Patterns in the South of Spain—What Users Really Do

1
Instituto Universitario de Arquitectura y Ciencias de la Construcción, Escuela Técnica Superior de Arquitectura, Universidad de Sevilla, 41014 Sevilla, Spain
2
School of Energy, Geoscience, Infrastructure and Society, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh EH14 4AS, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2018, 10(12), 4448; https://doi.org/10.3390/su10124448
Received: 25 October 2018 / Revised: 15 November 2018 / Accepted: 21 November 2018 / Published: 27 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Section Energy Sustainability)
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Abstract

Although energy analysis techniques can contribute to substantial energy savings in housing stock retrofitting operations, the outcomes often deviate significantly from the predicted results, which tend to overestimate potential savings by overestimating the starting energy baselines, particularly in southern Europe. This deviation can be largely attributed to occupant practice relating to the use of air conditioning facilities and the temperatures at which occupants feel comfortable. The patterns observed differed widely from standard values. In this study environmental variables, primarily indoor air temperature both with and without HVAC, were monitored in occupied dwellings for a full year. The data gathered were supplemented with surveys on occupants’ temperature-related behaviour to define comfort patterns. The findings show that the standards in place are not consistent with actual comfort-accepted patterns in medium- to low-income housing in southern Spain, where energy consumption was observed to be lower than expected, mostly because occupants endure unsuitable, even unhealthy, conditions over long periods of time. A new user profile, better adjusted to practice in southern Europe, particularly in social housing, is proposed to reflect the current situation. View Full-Text
Keywords: thermal comfort; monitoring of environmental variables; user behaviour; comfort patterns thermal comfort; monitoring of environmental variables; user behaviour; comfort patterns
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Domínguez-Amarillo, S.; Fernández-Agüera, J.; Sendra, J.J.; Roaf, S. Rethinking User Behaviour Comfort Patterns in the South of Spain—What Users Really Do. Sustainability 2018, 10, 4448.

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