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A Sexist ASHRAE 55 / PMV-PPD Calculation?

asked 2018-01-11 23:07:21 -0600

AadriaanW's avatar

updated 2018-03-08 15:30:17 -0600

Now that I have caught your attention with this striking title I have a sincere question about the way we calculate the indoor climate of a building. As many of you probably know the first standards to calculate this were made in the '60s, when men in suits dominated the work field. Today however this has become more mixed and one complaint many women in an average office space have is that it is too cold. Scientific research seems to suggest the same. As do the comments of my lovely mother and 3 sisters when I was growing up...

Now to be more serious about this subject: Does anyone know of any developments in the field of comfort calculations, where the optimum settings for women in a building are investigated more thoroughly? Do the experts on this forum expect that this will become part of our E+ simulations as well? Will we calculate 2 comforts, one for the average man and one for the average women? Or will we make a compromise with 50% men and 50% women and the "ideal settings" for this mix of people? Or any other options perhaps?

Please let me know! I am quite curious as to what is already out there and what can be done to further improve our understanding of energy reduction and a healthy indoor climate.

PS: Here is a link to an article describing these issues: Is your thermostat sexist

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Hey Adriaan, welcome to unmethours!

(For future ref, please note that we have a convention to not include greetings here (Hello, Thanks, Best regards, signature, etc), thank you!)

Julien Marrec's avatar Julien Marrec  ( 2018-01-12 02:34:24 -0600 )edit

Thank you for telling me, I was not aware!

AadriaanW's avatar AadriaanW  ( 2018-01-12 02:41:23 -0600 )edit

It's not on the help page unfortunately (@Neal Kruis)... If you look at other questions from first users, you'll find more often than not that someone (most likely me) has posted a similar comment.

Julien Marrec's avatar Julien Marrec  ( 2018-01-12 03:05:47 -0600 )edit

Just to be frank, that’s a pretty unnecessary convention and you’re wasting people’s time implementing such things, especially if it’s not on a help page. There is way too much editing on this site by admins.

bbrannon4's avatar bbrannon4  ( 2018-01-12 07:21:22 -0600 )edit

I don't see who's time I'm wasting here - aside from mine - since I'm the one doing the edit. Thanks for the feedback though, you're entitled to have an opinion on whether conventions are needed, and I don't care if people want to revisit the policy, feel free to chime on the post I linked to, or to ring bigladder.

Julien Marrec's avatar Julien Marrec  ( 2018-01-12 11:28:14 -0600 )edit

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answered 2018-01-12 00:04:56 -0600

bbrannon4's avatar

updated 2018-01-12 02:31:54 -0600

While it's still true that our standard definitions for things like PMV and PPD cater towards men from those earlier time periods, most of the full calculations provide different coefficients for gender and clothing. In that respect, it's up to the designer to compare them all and do some averaging. For example, this calculator by the CBE is pretty helpful is seeing the difference between clothing levels (while it's true that men and women on average perceive comfort slightly differently even with the same level of clothing, I think that has less of an effect than the CLO levels.

It's also interesting to note that in specific scenarios, we find the reverse results. Specifically in mild climates in buildings that don't have AC (It's not uncommon in older buildings in San Francisco for example) where it's socially acceptable for woman to wear sandals and skirts, men are still stuck in shoes and pants and so are more uncomfortable. Of course that's a minority. In addition to changing our standard calculations, I think we need to move to working conditions where it's suitable for everyone to adjust their clothing to suit the climate - especially in conjunction with adaptive comfort.

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Asked: 2018-01-11 23:07:21 -0600

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Last updated: Jan 12 '18