Monday Afternoon Workshops
For over a half century, the building science community has directed almost all of its attention to improving the integrity of the building shell and optimizing mechanical systems for the greatest efficiencies. What has been largely missing from this approach is any meaningful attention to the impacts of these interventions on the actual thermal comfort of the occupants of the spaces being designed or retrofitted.
As building professionals, the only tool we provide our clients is a thermostat which responds mechanically to but one data input: air temperature. We humans, on the other hand, are extremely complex metabolic organisms that sense multiple sensory inputs and respond in many varied and wonderful ways to the environment around us.
The standard way of thinking about houses today is to calculate the BTU's that pass through the building shell on a typical day or season. Much more important, is to understand what makes the occupant feel comfortable and to provide those conditions while at the same time reducing energy use.