Research


HomeAbout usOur researchLab facilitiesPartnersPublications


Commercial Buildings

National Research Foundation of Korea
Development of a Global Thermal Comfort Data Base
(2012 - 2014)

IEQ Lab: Prof Richard de Dear
Prof Chungyoon Chun (Yonsei University)
Prof Ed Arens (UC Berkeley)


DP120102761 – DVC Bridging Support
A New Paradigm of Human Thermal Perception for Green Buildings – Alliesthesia
(2012 - 2012)

IEQ Lab: Prof Richard de Dear, Dr Christhina Candido & Thomas Parkinson
Prof Ed Arens & Dr Hui Zhang (UC Berkeley)

Indoor environment quality is currently rated in terms of how tightly temperatures are held around a theoretical optimum. This locks in energy-intensive designs with air conditioning typically accounting for up to half a commercial building’s greenhouse gas emissions. But recent evidence suggests some temperature variation can be perceived more favourably than predicted by current design tools. This project develops a fundamentally new comfort model – alliesthesia - in which certain kinds of indoor transients deliver thermal pleasure. A series of experiments with human subjects will provide the coefficients necessary to couple an alliesthesia comfort model to a multi-node physiological model intended as a design tool for green buildings.


ARC Linkage - LP110200328
Building Occupants Survey System for Australia - BOSSA
(2011 – 2014)

IEQ Lab: Prof Richard de Dear, Dr Christhina Candido, Craig Roussac, Jungsoo Kim & Thomas Parkinson
Ms Leena Thomas (UTS)
Industry Partners: Arup, Brookfield Multiplex, The GPT Group, Investa Property Group, Stockland Property Management.
In-kind Support: National Australian Built Environment Rating System (NABERS)

Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) generates feedback on the performance of buildings from their occupants’ perspective. As an indoor environmental quality assurance process, POE accelerates diffusion of best design practices and minimises bad design recidivism. The Building Occupants Survey System for Australia - BOSSA - will be a POE system for Australia’s office buildings. As the BOSSA database grows with each additional building surveyed during this project, it will underpin an ongoing program of architectural science research aimed at improving occupant health, comfort and productivity outcomes from sustainable office buildings.


Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Government of India
Climate Works Foundation and Shakti Sustainable Energy Foundation
Thermal Comfort Model Development for India Context
(2011 - 2012)

IEQ Lab: Prof Richard de Dear
Ms Leena Thomas (UTS)
Prof Rajan Rawal (CEPT University)


US Green Building Council (USGBC) Research Grant
HVAC Control Algorithms for Mixed-Mode Buildings
(2008 - 2011)

IEQ Lab: Prof Richard de Dear

This project investigates climate-based control strategies for buildings that are capable of switching between naturally ventilated and air conditioned modes (mixed-mode). Collaborators include Dr Gregor Henze (U Colorado), Dr Clemens Felsmann (Technical U Dresden), Dr Jens Pfafferott (Fraunhofer Institute Freiburg), and Fergus Nicol (London Metropolitan U).


ARC Discovery - DP0880968
Comfort in Naturally Ventilated and Mixed-Mode Spaces within Air- Conditioned Offices
(2008-2010)

IEQ Lab: Professor Richard de Dear
A/Professor Scott Drake (University of Melbourne)


US Green Building Council, Research Grant 2008 (Proposal #81).
Control Algorithms for Mixed-Mode Buildings
(2008-2010)

IEQ Lab: Professor Richard de Dear
G Henze, C Felsman, J Pfafferott & F Nicol

ASHRAE Database RP-884.
The Adaptive Model of Thermal Comfort
(1995-1997)

IEQ Lab: Prof Richard de Dear
Prof Gail Brager (UC Berkeley)

Click here for more information


Residential Buildings


NCCARF National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility - A Framework for Adaptation of Australian Households to Heat Waves
(2011 – 2012)

IEQ Lab: Prof Richard de Dear, Dr Christhina Candido & Thomas Parkinson

What is the likely impact of heat waves on Australian homes and on the electricity infrastructure in Australia’s various climate regions? This project will plan for a national framework that would: develop new summer design conditions for 2030 and 2050 for up to 100 Australian climate zones; establish new thermal comfort criteria for buildings; evaluate the impact of climate change on annual household cooling energy use and peak power demand; examine householder behaviour during heat waves; develop design options to ensure safety and comfort during heat waves, and develop affordable new design options for buildings to avoid heat stress.


ARC Discovery Project –DP110105596
Field Survey of Residential Air Conditioning and Comfort in Australia
(2010 – 2013)

IEQ Lab: Prof Richard de Dear, Dr Christhina Candido & Thomas Parkinson

[[i||Recent Australian Government policy initiatives to reduce national greenhouse emissions have targeted energy efficiency in the residential sector. Air conditioning represents one of the fastest growing electricity end-uses in the Australian residential sector. This project will be the first large-scale Australian study into thermal comfort and air conditioning in residential settings. Outcomes of this project will enable industry stakeholders to develop effective technical and regulatory approaches for reducing residential greenhouse gas contributions, and also provide observational data to develop strategies aimed at reducing peak demands placed on the national electricity grid by residential air conditioning.Click here to access the Mobile Comfort Survey.

Other Buildings


An Adaptive Thermal Comfort Policy for a Geographically Dispersed Property Portfolio; Deciding When and Where to Air-Condition in a Warm Climate Zone
IEQ Lab: Prof Richard de Dear, Christhina Candido, Jungsoo Kim & Max Deuble

Adaptive comfort standards have two broad applications; they are widely used in the design phase to assess feasibility of natural ventilation. This can be done with simplified assessment tools, including software, at the very earliest design phase, or later in the design phase with the aid of dynamic thermal simulation software, based on input of TMY weather data. The second major area of application for the adaptive model, compliance checking of extant buildings, is less well documented. This paper describes a Thermal Comfort Policy being developed for a client who owns a large portfolio of buildings in Australia. To date the client’s decisions about where and when to install HVAC have been based on an isotherm on the climate map of the region in which they operate. Buildings located north (i.e. warm-side) of the 33degC mean daily maximum January (Austral summer) isotherm are air-conditioned by default, regardless of how well the building performs in that climate zone. Buildings falling on the south side of the 33degC January mean daily maximum isotherm do not receive air conditioning, even if their thermal performance is demonstrably poor. The client’s project brief aims to shift those air conditioning decisions onto a more rational footing, based on the climatic context, the building’s thermal performance, and the building occupants’ thermal comfort requirements. The ASHRAE 55-2010R adaptive model is being used as the basis for the human comfort criteria with an exponentially-weighted running mean outdoor temperature for input. Two metrics have been proposed for the diagnosis of overheating; a) % of occupied hours during which indoor operative temperature exceeds the ASHRAE 55 upper limit (80% acceptability), and b) cumulated degree-hours based on an indoor operative temperature baseline of the ASHRAE 55 upper limit (80% acceptability).


Outdoor Comfort


The University of Hong Kong, Seed Funding Programme for Basic Research
An assessment of the impact of outdoor thermal perception and acceptability on visitors to Hong Kong.
(2011 – 2013)

IEQ Lab: Prof Richard de Dear
Dr Melissa Hart (University of Hong Kong)