The history of research and international standardization for thermal comfort
The Thermal Engineering for Built Environment Laboratory (TEBEL) invites Prof. Bjarne W. Olesen, Technical University of Denmark (DTU), ASHRAE President 2017-2018, on 4 December 2019 at the Smart Living Lab in Fribourg.
One of the most important indoor environmental factors for people’s comfort, wellbeing and productivity, is the thermal environment. Thermal comfort is and has been a topic for research and standardisation for decades. Many years of research has been integrated in standardisation, which again trigger new research. A focal point of the research has been studies with humans both in experimental laboratory studies and field studies, where both subjective and physiological reactions has been monitored. The presentation will discuss the different research approaches.
Standardisation in relation to the thermal environment goes back many years, where mainly national standards like ASHRAE 55 (thermal comfort, first issue 1966) and ACGIH established in 1962 the first Threshold Limit Values for industrial work places. Internationally the standardization work started in 1978 under ISO TC 159 Ergonomics; SC 5 Ergonomics of the Physical Environment formed a new Working Group WG1 Ergonomics of the thermal environment. This working group covers all aspects of the influence of the thermal environment on people like heat stress, cold stress, thermal comfort, physical and thermal physiological measurements etc. The first standard ISO 7249 was dealing with heat stress and the use of WBGT based on the ACGIH standard. This was soon followed by the most cited standard for thermal comfort ISO 7730. The presentation will include a historical overview of this work and the people behind.