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What would an adaptive standard be like?

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Based on the idea that the human body continually adapts to a variety of conditions, an adaptive standard, would not include fixed indoor parameters but, would aim to promote (easy) adaptation by using the following principles:

·         People adapt more easily to the temperatures they are most familiar with. The range of conventional temperatures is population related and depends on geography, culture (customs) and climate. Therefore, the adaptive standard would define a range of conventional temperatures for each specific population and building type at different seasons of the year.

·         Adaptation is easier under more or less stable conditions. An adaptive standard would indicate which degree of stability of indoor conditions is required and how to achieve this.

·         A building may or may not provide opportunities for user friendly adaptation and control over the thermal environment. The adaptive standard would prescribe which opportunities for control are required (f.e. openable windows, temperature or solar controls, etc.) 

The adaptive approach is beginning to influence standards and guidelines for comfort in buildings, as is evident from the use of field results in ASHRAE Standard 55-2004 (ASHRAE, 2004) and (in the UK) the CIBSE (Chartered Institute of Building Services Engineers) Guide (CIBSE, 2006).