A field study about gender and thermal comfort temperatures in office buildings

Maykot, J. K.; Rupp, R. F.; Ghisi, E.
Energy and Buildings

The aim of this paper is to determine the comfort temperature for men and women in two office buildings, one operating under mixed-mode strategy (naturally ventilated and/or air-conditioned) and one fully air-conditioned. Thus, 116 field studies were performed from March 2014 to March 2016 involving 584 participants in two office buildings. In order to collect temperature, relative humidity and air velocity data, microclimate stations were installed in the offices. Data collected were submitted to statistical analysis: they were initially separated according to the type of building (mixed-mode or fully air-conditioned) and operating system, and then they were distributed according to gender. The comfort temperatures were estimated by means of linear regression and by using the Griffiths method. Results show that the Griffiths method is more suitable to express the comfort temperature for men and women. Overall, the comfort temperature was 24.0°C for females, and 23.2°C for males. In the mixed-mode building, comfort temperature was statistically higher for females than that for males (23.7°C and 23.0°C, respectively). In the fully air-conditioned building, significant differences were found for comfort temperature for females and males (24.2°C and 23.4°C, respectively). Furthermore, when the mixed-mode building operated under natural ventilation the comfort temperatures tended to be lower for both men and women when compared to the comfort temperature found in the same building during air-conditioning operation.