A

AIA CES Credits
AV Office
Abstract Publication
Academic Calendar, Columbia University
Academic Calendar, GSAPP
Admissions Office
Advanced Standing Waiver Form
Alumni Board
Alumni Office
Anti-Racism Curriculum Development Award
Architecture Studio Lottery
Assistantships
Avery Library
Avery Review
Avery Shorts

S

STEM Designation
Satisfactory Academic Progress
Skill Trails
Student Affairs
Student Awards
Student Conduct
Student Council (All Programs)
Student Financial Services
Student Health Services at Columbia
Student Organization Handbook
Student Organizations
Student Services Center
Student Services Online (SSOL)
Student Work Online
Studio Culture Policy
Studio Procedures
Studio-X Global Network
Summer Workshops
Support GSAPP
Close
This website uses cookies as well as similar tools and technologies to understand visitors' experiences. By continuing to use this website, you consent to Columbia University's usage of cookies and similar technologies, in accordance with the Columbia University Website Cookie Notice Group 6

Comfort and Well Being

Comfort and Well Being
THE ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACTS OF THERMAL EXPERIENCE

In recent decades, international standards that define energy requirements are based on the notion that thermal comfort is achieved in uniform and steady-state environments, increasingly created within sealed building envelopes that lack any connection to outdoor thermal variability, a necessity for human well-being. These sealed excessively energy consuming environments feed our addiction to air-conditioning and excessive over-cooling.

But, there is a different path that can reduce energy while improving comfort. Recent research suggests that thermal perception and comfort are more than a deterministic heat balance and that positive thermal experiences can be created from more energy-conserving and dynamic fluctuations in temperatures, air flow, radiant, and humidity conditions. This physiological phenomenon is called thermal alliesthesia: the sensory pleasure arising from transient or contrasting thermal experiences.

Our lab employs thermal alliesthesia (pleasure) concepts that were shown to inspire a more coherent understanding of occupant comfort requirements. As an emerging paradigm, thermal alliesthesia research challenges the thermal monotony that has become the status quo in the built environment by promoting non-uniform and dynamic thermal strategies such as personal environmental control systems and transient thermal environments.

We test innovative thermal design strategies that reduce the need for heavily engineered and thermally static indoor climates, thus leading to improvements in energy efficiency and occupants’ adaptive comfort and resilience. Most importantly, we foster thermal adaptivity that can shape policies and strategies for livelihood diversification and social capital that increase climate response capacity among communities that depend on natural resources.