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The importance of thermal comfort in architecture: types, examples, and strategies!
Want to improve projects, as well as adapt installations to the latest trends? Find out how thermal comfort is important and how to achieve it!
Do you know the importance of considering thermal comfort in work environments? As an architect, it is your responsibility to ensure that the company's structures are aligned with the trends in the construction industry.
In addition to maintaining the ideal temperature for employees, you will be adapting the facilities to comply with current laws. For example, the NBR 15.220, which determines the thermal performance of buildings, among others associated with the labor context.
To help you, we have prepared comprehensive content on the subject. Read our article and discover:
- What is thermal comfort?
- Why design for thermal comfort?
- Thermal comfort strategies in architecture
- How to evaluate and monitor thermal comfort?
Enjoy the read!
What is thermal comfort?
Thermal comfort is the situation in which the ambient temperature does not negatively affect the individual, providing satisfaction. This occurs because the person needs to consume less energy to adapt to the environment and feel comfortable, stabilizing the heat exchange with their internal temperature.
As an architect, it is important to include the thermal comfort stage in the project, considering factors such as:
- relative air humidity;
- thermal insulation;
- natural ventilation inlets;
- the climate of the region.
The NBR 15.220 establishes the thermal characteristics of materials, environments, and constructive components and presents calculation methods for thermal comfort. In addition, variations in thermal comfort can also indicate whether the project is correct.
Another factor that can help you understand whether the project is being developed correctly are the variations in thermal comfort:
- Thermal resistance: our clothes act as heat insulators, the intensity may vary depending on the fabric or adjustment of the piece;
- Environmental: mainly responsible for the condition, some environments can increase or decrease the temperature;
- Cultural: geographic location becomes a variable, as each place has its own resistance to hot and cold days;
- Metabolism: although a temperature considered comfortable is determined, it still will not be for everyone. Human metabolism reacts individually to temperature changes. Therefore, if the air conditioning in an office is set to 23°C (73.4°F), some people may feel cold, and others may feel very hot.
Why design for thermal comfort?
Designing thermal comfort in the work environment brings numerous benefits to the people who circulate in the space. Among the main reasons are offering better quality of life and increasing productivity.
Maintaining a pleasant internal temperature has direct impacts on human adaptation in the environment and their performance in carrying out activities. Excessive heat can cause physical and mental problems such as fatigue and discouragement.
A person's productivity is one of the biggest victims of the unstable heat exchange in environments. When we are not adapted to the space, it causes us discomfort and, as a consequence, irritability, restlessness, and stress.
Establishing thermal comfort also affects the company concerning increased energy efficiency and cost reduction. This fact is due to the effective control provided by technology that allows monitoring of air conditioning systems.
Considering this information, we emphasize the importance of thermal comfort based on its benefits, which include:
- Reducing the sensation of heat, as there is a balance between the internal and external temperature;
- Maintaining emotional balance affected by staying in hot or cold environments;
- Improving professional performance, as being in thermally comfortable places boosts productivity;
- Reducing health problems arising from thermal variation, such as difficulty concentrating, migraines, mood changes, anxiety, etc.
Thermal Comfort Strategies in Architecture
There are some strategies that you, as an architect, can adopt during the design process to achieve thermal comfort. Among them, we can mention:
- Solar orientation;
- Structural openings;
- Thermal insulation;
We can affirm that among the main factors influencing thermal comfort in buildings are environmental issues. The data for designing this condition can be collected through technology.
Currently, there are various resources applied to construction that affect everything from the construction process to the building's usability. Want to learn more details about the trends in the area? Read our article: 6 IoT Advantages in Construction You Need to Know!
Next, we will discuss more about thermal comfort strategies in architecture, check it out:
The position of the sun is directly related to the structure being built and has become a fundamental issue for thermal comfort. This is because having knowledge of the orientation allows for developing strategies to take advantage of or prevent the incidence of solar rays.
In this way, reflections of heat, shadow areas, the use of glass, etc., should be considered. If solar panels are used, they should be placed in the area receiving the most sunlight.
Among the solutions mentioned above, we can mention the design of openings in facades or roofs of the construction. They contribute to:
- Capturing sunlight, ensuring natural lighting;
- Allowing air to circulate freely, promoting ventilation of spaces.
For this, it is necessary to analyze wind behavior to design spaces in a way that takes advantage of natural resources. Like the direction of doors and windows, which should be thought out strategically, as winds differ in winter and summer.
This option is entirely sustainable and also influences the reduction of energy consumption in the building.
Thermal insulation can be a great alternative to maintaining the internal temperature of the environment. You can apply it using industrial materials and architectural solutions, for example:
- Industrial Materials: Polyester wool, rock wool, fiberglass, etc;
- Architectural solutions: the most used are Brises and Cobogós, which block heat incidence. There are also green roofs, tiles with thermal insulation, cold floors, floating floors, etc.
Another source of insulation is Drywall, a material that does not absorb external temperature. It has glass wool or rock wool in its composition, which also provides acoustic insulation to the environment.
The shape of the roof can be one of the factors influencing the thermal sensation of the environment. They end up interfering with the direction and speed of the wind, with the purpose of cooling the space.
One of the solutions includes the use of green roofs, as it can provide thermal resistance to the roof. Ceramic tiles are great for ensuring the ideal temperature but will need to be placed at a certain inclination.
The concept of bioarchitecture is linked with construction that integrates natural resources harmoniously. That is, the professional responsible for the project should consider making buildings greener.
When the climatic characteristics of each region are considered, you will be able to generate not only thermal comfort but also acoustic and luminous comfort. The consequence of this is increased energy efficiency and reduced pollutants.
You can also read: 10 tips on how to reduce energy consumption in the company!
How to evaluate and monitor thermal comfort?
You can evaluate and monitor thermal comfort using wireless sensors developed with IoT technology. In a simple and smart way, it is possible to configure and maintain the ideal temperature of the environment.
Squair offers high-performance solutions with its sensors, promoting advantages such as real-time identification of temperature changes.
Get accurate statistical data and an efficient view of the equipment centralized on a single platform.
As a member of the Brazil Network of the Global Compact, Squair operates with operational intelligence to promote sustainability in companies. In addition to being efficient, the Device offers:
- 24-hour monitoring;
- Wireless sensors;
- Predictive maintenance;
- Energy savings.
Now you already recognize the importance of a comfortable work environment in relation to internal temperature. Get to know Squair Technology and its thermal comfort monitoring service, and learn about machine behavior to make better decisions.