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The Building Science of Thermal Comfort

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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 https://dabrownstein.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/more-better-mapping-of-oaklands-populations/ 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) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermodynamics 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) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermodynamics#Laws_of_thermodynamics 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) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObO20UukNQc 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 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Povl_Ole_Fanger (DANISH DUDE WITH A BAD HAIRCUT)
  6. 6. HOW TO BUILD FOR COMFORT https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObO20UukNQc (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 http://passipedia.org/basics/the_passive_house_-_definition (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) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObO20UukNQc 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
  9. 9. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ObO20UukNQc WHAT DOES THIS LOOK LIKE IN CALIFORNIA? (& OTHER PLACES IN THE WORLD)
  10. 10. Passive House Institute (International Certifying Body): (Visit www.passivehouse.com to view the growing list.) Accredited North American trainers and certifiers: North American Advocacy Groups: Local Advocacy Organization: WHERE CAN I FIND MORE INFO? www.passivehousecal.org Bronwyn Barry @PassiveHouseBB passivehouseBB@gmail.com THANKS www.oneskyhomes.com

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