Decoupling Awake and Asleep Thermal Comfort: Impact on Building Design Optimization

30 Pages Posted: 10 May 2023

See all articles by Shide Salimi

Shide Salimi

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Design

Esteban Estrella Guillén

Harvard University

Holly Samuelson

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Design

Abstract

Researchers suggest that humans have different preferred thermal conditions for asleep and awake periods. Yet, current standards underpinning thermal comfort assessment and energy analysis in buildings are exclusively based on awake comfort preferences and do not differentiate between awake and asleep conditions. This study hypothesizes that the consideration of sleep thermal comfort in building performance modelling would significantly impact the energy and comfort performance of building design options. No prior studies have been found to test this hypothesis. A review of research on sleep thermal comfort is conducted to find suggested optimal temperatures for sleeping. Then, a simulation-based multi-objective optimization model is developed to assess optimal residential building design strategies with first, standard comfort ranges at all times, and second, sleep and standard comfort ranges at appropriate hours. Results demonstrate that the design of optimal buildings differs significantly when including sleep comfort (e.g., when considering sleep comfort, more window-shading may provide more energy-efficient, comfortable solutions) and that the consideration of sleep comfort provides energy-saving opportunities. This research implies, for the first time, that the simulation-aided design process of high-performance buildings where sleep occurs should consider sleep comfort separately from awake comfort to better inform the decision-making process.

Keywords: Sleep thermal comfort, building simulation, Building design optimization, Thermal comfort, Architecture, Energy modeling

Suggested Citation

Salimi, Shide and Estrella Guillén, Esteban and Samuelson, Holly, Decoupling Awake and Asleep Thermal Comfort: Impact on Building Design Optimization. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4432555 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4432555

Shide Salimi (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Design ( email )

Esteban Estrella Guillén

Harvard University ( email )

Holly Samuelson

Harvard University - Harvard Graduate School of Design ( email )

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