Air Conditioning, Comfort and Energy in India's Commercial Building Sector

Network for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings (NCEUB)
Publication Type:
Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of Conference: Adapting to Change: New Thinking on Comfort, 2010, pp. 1 - 12
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Before India's building sector can fulfil its CO2 abatement potential, it is imperative for new build projects, especially those which provide for commercial and public functions, to eschew the energy-intensive designs that characterized western commercial buildings of the 20th century. In the absence of an adaptive thermal comfort standard specifically for India's climatic and cultural context, the current trend is simply to design air- conditioned buildings to meet the stringent ASHRAE and ISO 'Class A' comfort specifications. This paper proposes a holistic Post Occupancy Evaluation (POE) study of a cross section of Indian office buildings purposively stratified across a range of energy intensities with diverse environmental control systems and design approach in different climatic zones to develop an adaptive thermal comfort standard. By climatically adapting indoor design temperatures, the standard will offer India a low-carbon development pathway for its commercial building sector without compromising overall comfort or productivity.
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