Brazilian Thermal Comfort Data Base

This project's main objective is to create a Brazilian database focused on aspects related to human thermal comfort in indoor environments, as well as the acceptability of air movement for users in commercial, institutional and residential buildings.

Main goals:

  • Use the data resulting from field experiments as a reference for formulating standards appropriate to the Brazilian context, with a view to lower energy consumption in buildings;
  • Identify users' specific thermal preferences under three environmental conditioning strategies: artificial conditioning, natural and hybrid ventilation, characterizing possible differentiations;
  • Identify the applicability and/or possible discrepancies of the adaptive model based on the data collected by this project;
  • Contribute to the methodology of field studies in indoor environments under the condition of actual use by users.

Data in the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) Group III Report indicate the buildings sector as the most promising in terms of reducing carbon emissions (IPCC, 2007). To this end, the same report proposes the need for changes in the design of buildings, with a focus on reducing the use of air conditioning, increasing passive means of conditioning in addition to concern about heat gains through the building envelope.

In Brazil, it is observed that the public and commercial sectors, when combined, correspond to 48% of final energy consumption (BEN, 2013), with approximately 50% of this value allocated to environmental conditioning. However, the use of environmental conditioning does not imply a direct relationship with user satisfaction. Studies carried out indicate that a large part of users' dissatisfaction in their work environments comes from thermal discomfort (HUIZENGA et al, 2006); This is also one of the main items related to the productivity of occupants (ZHANG et al, 2008). In terms of this user-building relationship, there is a growing development of research focusing on satisfaction, involving aspects related to preference, sensation and thermal acceptability. In these terms, field experiments conducted in “real environments”, occupied and used by “real” users seem to be more representative than those developed in laboratory environments (DE DEAR, BRAGER, COOPER, 1997). In this sense, the challenge of developing field experiments focusing on standards with an intrinsic relationship with regional conditions and with the aim of promoting less dependence on the use of environmental conditioning in buildings is on the agenda (ZHANG et al, 2008).

The project presented here aims to form a Brazilian database focused on aspects related to human thermal comfort, as well as the acceptability of air movement for users in indoor work environments. Although focused on commercial buildings, this project also intends to include data from experiments previously developed in other types of buildings, such as homes and schools, in order to expand its scope.


Roberto Lamberts1Christhina Cândido2Renata De Vecchi1

1 Federal University of Santa Catarina, Florianópolis – Brazil

2 The University of Sydney, Sydney – Australia


BRASIL, Ministério de Minas e Energia. Empresa de Pesquisa Energética: Balanço energético Nacional. Resultados preliminares/ BEN 2006 ano base 2005. 
DE DEAR, R.; BRAGER, G.; COOPER, D. Developing an adaptive model of thermal comfort and preference. Final Report ASHRAE RP-884, 1997.
HUIZENGA, C.; ABBASZADEH, S.; ZAGREUS, L.; ARENS, E. Air quality and thermal comfort in office buildings: results of a large indoor environmental quality survey. Proceedings, Healthy Buildings 393-397, Lisbon, Portugal, 2006. 
IPCC, Climate Change 2007: Mitigation of Climate Change. Full Report, Working Group III of the IPCC, 2007. 
ZHANG, H.; ARENS E.; ABBASZADEH, S.; HUIZENGA, H.; BRAGER, G.; PALIAGA, P.; ZAGREUS L. Air movement preferences observed in office buildings. International Journal of Biometeorology, 51: 349–360, 2007.

Files for download:

Research report and draft Brazilian thermal comfort standard. Access.

Research report - Natural ventilation and thermal comfort in hot climates (Christhina Cândido): Access.

Research Report - Advanced Topics in Thermal Comfort (Wagner Andreasi): Access.

Access here the theses and dissertations with results from field studies in Brazil (LabEEE).

Base de dados ASHRAE RP-884

Relatório Final: ASHRAE RP-884 (1997)

ASHRAE Global Thermal Comfort Database II

Article 01: Thermal comfort in indoor environments in Brazil and the development of the Brazilian database. ENCAC 2019.

Artigo 02: Exploring the Brazilian thermal comfort database: an overview on the main contributions. WINDSOR 2020.