Mixed-mode buildings: a double standard in comfort

Max Deuble*, Richard De Dear

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This paper investigates how mixed-mode (MM) ventilation affects occupant comfort by presenting results from a longitudinal field study within an office building located in subtropical Sydney, Australia. The building automatically switches into air-conditioned (AC) mode whenever indoor temperatures exceed 25°C. Coincident indoor and outdoor climate measurements along with 1359 subjective comfort questionnaires were collected. Thermal sensations during natural ventilation were, on average, 2.1°C warmer than those predicted using Fanger's PMVPPD (Fanger 1970). Differences in thermal perception were also apparent between these two modes. Within AC mode, a +1 PMV environment elicited much 'warmer-than-neutral' thermal sensations than the same environment within naturally-ventilated (NV) mode, suggesting thermal perceptions were affected by the building's mode of operation over and above the indoor climatic conditions. These discrepancies emphasize the complexity of thermal perception and the inadequacy of using PMV models to describe occupant comfort in MM buildings.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication12th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate 2011
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 2011
Event12th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate 2011 - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: 5 Jun 201110 Jun 2011


Other12th International Conference on Indoor Air Quality and Climate 2011
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityAustin, TX


  • comfort standards
  • mixed-mode ventilation
  • thermal comfort


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