Thermal conditions in indoor environments: Exploring the reasoning behind standard-based recommendations

Christiane Berger*, Ardeshir Mahdavi, Eleni Ampatzi, Sarah Crosby, Runa T. Hellwig, Dolaana Khovalyg, Anna Laura Pisello, Astrid Roetzel, Adam Rysanek, Marika Vellei

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Professionals in the building design and operation fields typically look at standards and guidelines as a reliable source of information and guidance with regard to procedural, contractual, and legal scope and requirements that are relevant to accountability issues and compliance necessities. Specifically, indoor environmental quality (IEQ) standards support professionals to bring about comfortable thermal, air quality, acoustic, or visual conditions in buildings. In this context, it appears essential to regularly examine the IEQ standards’ applicability and scientific validity. The present contribution focuses on common thermal comfort standards in view of the reasoning and includes evidence behind their recommendations and requirements. Thereby, several international and national thermal comfort standards are examined via a structured matrix to assess basic parameters, design and performance variables targeted by the standards, suggested value ranges, and both general and specific evidence from the scientific literature. Finally, this paper discusses findings and points to the identified gaps in the chain of evidence from the results of scientific studies and the recommendations included in the thermal standards. As such, the present contribution has the potential to inform future developments regarding transparent and evidence-based thermal standards.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1587
Issue number4
Number of pages22
Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2023


  • Evidence
  • Indoor environmental quality
  • guidelines
  • standards
  • thermal comfort


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