In cold regions, the reduction in envelope thermal transmittance is often the dominant parameter in ensuring thermal comfort in buildings. However, countries in warmer climates have also adopted this same strategy, often neglecting other parameters that are more influential in their respective climate regions that can achieve thermal comfort. This study focuses on passive building strategies to ensure a building’s thermal comfort conditions in Mediterranean climates in the winter. This monitoring study compares two dwellings during the winter in Barcelona, Spain, in order to analyze the impact of not only the envelope’s thermal properties on indoor temperature, but also the role of other factors such as outdoor temperature and solar gains. The dwellings were built in different decades, each following distinct building technical codes, diverse construction techniques, and building materials. The methodology used in this study is based on thermal measurements, meteorological data, and spreadsheet calculations. Comparing these results with the recent updates in Spain’s technical code and other studies, the investigation demonstrates that to achieve a suitable indoor thermal temperature in a passive way, especially in Mediterranean climates, incorporating other factors such as the combination of thermal inertia and solar gains can be more effective than a strategy mainly focused on reducing thermal transmittance. This analysis demonstrates that a building’s thermal performance does not mainly depend on envelope thermal transmittance, but rather a complex system involving a set of variables such as thermal inertia as well as solar gains, based on parameters such as building orientation and urban context.
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