Adaptive comfort: passive design for active occupants

Thom Mayne’s San Francisco Federal BuildingThis note was reviewed and approved for currency in November 2018.

The adaptive model of thermal comfort shifts attention from engineered comfort solutions to architectural ones. As the concept of adaptive comfort displaces the old static model, architects are beginning to explore the opportunities to engage occupants in the provision of occupants’ comfort, which in turn has re-awakened an interest in natural ventilation.

This note provides an introduction to adaptive comfort, which it is hoped will help architects design more sustainable, pleasurable and stimulating indoor environments.

This note, written by Christhina Candido in September 2011 replaces the note Perceived comfort.

note summary
  1. Introduction
  2. Static vs adaptive models of thermal comfort
  3. Return of the welcome breeze
  4. Summary