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Old 07-15-12, 10:52 AM   #1
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Default Percieved Comfort...

I just watched a very interesting TED talk by a German architect named Wolfgang Kessling.

...available for download HERE.

The talk addresses the design challenges of providing for human comfort when designing outdoor stadiums. Mr. Kessling addresses the factors that he had to work with when designing the stadiums, to achieve comfort while not consuming fossil fuel.

The comfort factors were:
  • Temperature
  • Humidity
  • Radiant Heat Gain (and loss)

Mr. Kessling states that these three factors affect the body's ability to regulate it's internal temperature. When these factors are such that the body is not able to properly regulate internal temperature, it is perceived as discomfort, and when the condition is severe, can result in death.

In many of the posts at EcoRenovator, I see that the importance of controlling both temperature and humidity are taken into consideration when addressing low-energy comfort, but the role played by radiant heat (and cool) escapes discussion.

It reminded me of a recent ER post from someone living in Arizona who was trying to provide for comfort while living in an uninsulated brick structure. Unfortunately the heat radiating from the masonry building was not being considered, so extra energy was going to be used to provide for comfort when a possibly passive approach was overlooked.

The technique of including radiant heat (and cool) to achieve low energy comfort is being employed in Germany, but it's implementation is very slow to gain momentum in the US... perhaps we should be including this in our thinking & discussions. the end of the video there is a link to Mr. Kessling's company, with information and computer programs available (in German & English). The computer program can be used to model building & comfort.



I'm not an HVAC technician. In fact, I'm barely even a hacker...
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