Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

The Building Science of Thermal Comfort


Published on

An incomplete review of thermal comfort, thermodynamics, indoor air quality, who influenced this science and how it is being used to design insanely comfortable buildings. Bonus side benefit: they happen to use very little energy. (Don't tell anyone about this - it may be too radical.)

Published in: Design

The Building Science of Thermal Comfort

  1. 1. The Building Science of Health and Comfort: A Movement to Radically Transform How We Build Oakland Bronwyn Barry Design Director, One Sky Homes Director, Passive House California Co-President, North American Passive House Network JANUARY 2015 ROTARY
  2. 2. THERMODYNAMICS (NOT A NEW EXERCISE REGIMEN) Defined by Lord Kelvin as: "Thermo-dynamics is the subject of the relation of heat to forces acting between contiguous parts of bodies, and the relation of heat to electrical agency." A branch of physics concerned with • heat and • temperature and their relation to • energy and • work.
  3. 3. BASIC LAWS OF THERMODYNAMICS (& MOST OF OUR BUILDINGS) 1. First law of thermodynamics: The increase in internal energy of a closed system is equal to the difference of the heat supplied to the system and the work done by it: ΔU = Q - W [74][75][76][77][78][79][80][81][82][83][84] (Note that due to the ambiguity of what constitutes positive work, some sources state that ΔU = Q + W, in which case work done on the system is positive.) 2. Second law of thermodynamics: Heat cannot spontaneously flow from a colder location to a hotter location. 3. Third law of thermodynamics: As a system approaches absolute zero the entropy of the system approaches a minimum value. CLIFF NOTES: HEAT FLOWS FROM HOT TO COLD HEAT TRANSFER HAPPENS VIA: • CONDUCTION • CONVECTION • RADIATION
  4. 4. THIS IS YOUR HOUSE|OFFICE (& MOST OF OUR BUILDING STOCK) 70 F 52 F 59 F1 5 WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE? • Surface temperature differences • Internal and external temperature differences • Radiant surface temperature differences WHAT DOES THAT CREATE? • Radiant discomfort • Convective currents (internal drafts) • A need to mechanically heat and cool the space • Mold potential
  5. 5. Pioneered the study of Thermal Comfort Linked poor indoor air quality to • Asthma in children • Poor productivity in workplaces His work still defines HVAC and he invented indoor air quality units: • Olf (strength of pollution source) • Decipol (perceived air quality) OUR FRIEND POVL OLE FANGER (DANISH DUDE WITH A BAD HAIRCUT)
  6. 6. HOW TO BUILD FOR COMFORT (A RADICAL CONSPIRACY) WHAT DO WE HAVE HERE? • Internal and external temperature differences • Even surface temperatures • Reduced radiant surface temperature differences WHAT DOES THAT CREATE? • Radical COMFORT • No convective currents (draft- free) • Very small mechanical input to heat and cool the space • Mold-free 70 F 62 F 52 F
  7. 7. Founder of the Passive House Institute Transformed the design of thermal comfort into a building standard. • Developed tools that anyone could use • Inspired 30,000 comfortable buildings • Made this methodology available around the world Defined Passive House: ONE MORE FOREIGN DUDE (DR. WOLFGANG FEIST) “A Passive House is a building, for which thermal comfort (ISO 7730) can be achieved solely by post-heating or post- cooling of the fresh air mass, which is required to achieve sufficient indoor air quality conditions – without the need for additional recirculation of air.”
  8. 8. WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE IN OAKLAND? (& OTHER PLACES IN CALIFORNIA) RETROFITS: • Arizona Street Garage Conversion • Laney College Ashton Street Renovation COMING SOON: • Laney College BEST Center built to Passive House • Passive House windows built in Oakland
  10. 10. Passive House Institute (International Certifying Body): (Visit to view the growing list.) Accredited North American trainers and certifiers: North American Advocacy Groups: Local Advocacy Organization: WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFO? Bronwyn Barry @PassiveHouseBB THANKS