Heating, is the main component of energy demand in dwellings in the UK and is often associated with thermal comfort. In order to achieve thermal satisfaction, occupants may interact with the building systems and controls to adjust their living environment.

Smart buildings are seen as key in reducing energy consumption and emissions due to their improved operational efficiencies. The prevalence of the Internet of Things and reduced costs of modern sensing technologies heralds the application of such systems to provide real-time, dynamic control and automation in buildings. Clearly, such transformative approaches will also need to be augmented with building occupants’ perception of comfort and space functionality to succeed.

Post occupancy evaluation (POE) and continuous feedback can provide some of the tools required to design and manage low-energy buildings with controls and occupants as direct actuators of adaptation.

Part of our thermal comfort studies are contributing to the activities of the International Energy Agency’s Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme.