Children’s Thermal Comfort and Adaptive Behaviours; UK Primary Schools during Non-heating and Heating Seasons

Sepideh Sadat Korsavi, Azadeh Montazami

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This paper aims to study children's thermal comfort and related Adaptive Behaviours in UK primary schools. The study was carried out in 32 naturally-ventilated classrooms during Non-Heating (NH) and Heating (H) seasons. Alongside collecting environmental data, a self-reported questionnaire and an observation form were employed to record children's thermal comfort and adaptive behaviours. From eight primary schools, 805 children aged 9–11 were surveyed and 1390 questionnaires were collected. Children's Thermal Sensation Votes (TSVs), Thermal Preference Votes (TPVs) and adaptive behaviours were compared against temperature offset from comfort temperature by EN 15251 (Tdiff=Top-TC(CEN)). Results suggest that children's thermal comfort (TC(children)) is 1.9 K and 2.8 K lower than that for adults (TC(CEN)) during non-heating and heating seasons, respectively. Children have lower comfort temperature and higher sensitivity to temperature changes during heating seasons. This can be attributed to children's lower practice of personal behaviours and more consistent indoor conditions during heating seasons. The proportion of children engaged with personal behaviours is one-third lower during heating seasons. As indoor temperature goes above children's thermal comfort band, the proportion of children practising personal behaviours increases during non-heating seasons. Around 80% of window operation is carried out by teachers who have a higher comfort temperature than children.
Original languageEnglish
Article number109857
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Early online date13 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Energy and Buildings. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Energy and Buildings, 214 (2020) DOI: 10.1016/j.enbuild.2020.109857

© 2020, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International


The authors would like to acknowledge headteachers, teachers and children in studied primary schools in Coventry for their cooperation.


  • Comfort temperature
  • Personal behaviours
  • Environmental behaviours
  • Primary Schools
  • Non-heating and Heating seasons


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