Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The influence of acclimatization, age and gender-related differences on thermal perception in university buildings: Case studies in Scotland and England

Jowkar, Mina; Rijal, Hom Bahadur; Montazami, Azadeh; Brusey, James; Temeljotov-Salaj, Alenka


Hom Bahadur Rijal

Azadeh Montazami

James Brusey

Alenka Temeljotov-Salaj


The higher education sector in the UK is responsible for large amount of the country's energy consumption. Space heating, which is the largest and most expensive part of the energy used in the UK educational buildings is a potential target for improving energy efficiency. However, the role of thermal comfort in students' productivity in academic environments cannot be overlooked. Considering the prevalence of two different climatic conditions in Northern and Southern/Midland regions of the UK, this study investigated thermal comfort in two university campuses in Scotland and England. environmental measurements combined with a simultaneous questionnaire survey were conducted in eight university buildings in Edinburgh and Coventry. The field study was carried out during the academic year of 2017-18 on 3507 students. The results confirmed influence of students' acclimatization, showing a warmer than neutral mean Thermal Sensation Vote (TSV) and cooler thermal preference in Edinburgh than Coventry. The higher acceptable temperature in Coventry (23.5 °C) than Edinburgh (22.1 °C) reinforced the results on the influence of climatic adaptation. Thermal acceptability was examined in a direct (analysing the actual votes on thermal acceptability) and an indirect approach (considering the TSV between −1 and 1 as acceptable). The indirect approach was shown to be a better predictor of the thermal acceptability as this method extends beyond the acceptable range suggested by the direct method. Thermal perceptions of females were shown to be colder than males in university classrooms. However, no statistically significant difference was observed in the thermal comfort of different age groups.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date May 2, 2020
Online Publication Date May 8, 2020
Publication Date 2020-07
Deposit Date Sep 29, 2022
Journal Building and Environment
Print ISSN 0360-1323
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 179
Article Number 106933
Keywords Thermal comfort, Higher learning environments, Thermal acceptability, Comfort temperature, Thermal satisfaction
Public URL