Subtask B2: Provide design guidelines on how to use adaptive comfort for lowering energy use in buildings including the usage of personal comfort systems, IEA EBC Annex 69: “Strategy and practice of adaptive thermal comfort in low energy buildings”

  • Hellwig, Runa T. (PI)
  • Despoina, Teli (Project Participant)
  • Schweiker, Marcel (Project Participant)
  • Choi, Joon-Ho (Project Participant)
  • Lee, Jeffrey M.C. (Project Participant)
  • Mora, Rodrigo (Project Participant)
  • Rawal, Rajan (Project Participant)
  • Wang, Zhaojun (Project Participant)
  • Al-Atrash, Farah (Project Participant)

Project Details


Goal: The indoor climate, temperature and ventilation, are dominant driving forces for energy use in buildings. Establishing a sufficient indoor climate without increasing the energy use in indoor spaces is one of the world’s challenges. The adaptive thermal comfort concept is providing support that humans are satisfied with a wide range of indoor temperatures provided that they have the opportunity to adapt by themselves.
However, the overall understanding of how to design for adaptation, hence how to translate the adaptive principles into a design culture and concepts for operating buildings is still limited. Therefore, Annex 69: “Strategy and practice of adaptive thermal comfort in low energy buildings” has been established in 2015 by international thermal comfort experts under the umbrella of the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Energy in Buildings and Communities Programme.

Besides establishing a) a new extended database, Annex 69 has the following overall objectives: b) to provide indoor thermal environment criteria based on the adaptive concept; c) to provide a basis for the creation or revision of indoor environment standards; d) to propose passive building design strategies to achieve thermal comfort with low energy consumption and e) provide design guideline for new cooling and heating devices (EBC 2018).

One of the major project deliverables will be a design guideline on how to use the adaptive comfort concept for lowering the energy use in buildings including the usage of personal thermal comfort systems. This is an ongoing activity of the authors of this paper within the Annex’ 69 Subtask B2.
Short titleIEA EBC Annex 69 - Subtask B2
Effective start/end date01/01/201531/12/2020

Collaborative partners

  • Chalmers University of Technology
  • Karlsruhe Institute of Technology
  • University of Southern California
  • National Taichung University of Science and Technology
  • British Columbia Institute of Technology
  • CEPT University
  • Harbin Institute of Technology
  • German Jordanian University


  • Architecture
  • human-centred design
  • sufficiency
  • adaptive thermal comfort
  • Indoor climate
  • qualitative factors
  • quantitative factors
  • behaviour
  • Sustainability


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