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  • Kathy_New_Windsor_Paper_FINAL

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Exploring current and future thermal comfort practices in shared workspaces

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Abstract

In 2018, the UK service sector consumed 20,222 ktoe energy (24% of the UK total, excluding transport). Education is a major consumer within this sector, with Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) being particularly energy intensive. Space heating accounts for the highest use of energy in UK offices, and whilst more energy efficient buildings are being designed and constructed, around 80% of the buildings we will be using by 2050 have already been built. Many offices provide little data for energy managers to effectively control buildings, resulting in spaces that are often overheated and inefficient. Emerging technologies have great potential to deliver energy reduction, by controlling heating and cooling in
more precise and targeted ways. We have designed a bespoke system to be retrofit to existing buildings to allow enable energy managers to control heating on a room-by-room or even finer basis. In this paper, we use a mixed methods observation and measurement approach to observe existing offices to understand the current thermal comfort practices and particularly how comfort is governed in shared environments. We identify some of the barriers for successful adoption of our system and make the case for the co-evolution of policy and technology
to promote greater personal responsibility for thermal comfort in a warming world.