Thermal comfort and productivity for the future HVAC

Shinichi Tanabe*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Office environment is important for office workers because it effects their satisfaction and also productivity. Recently, workers' satisfaction is a focus of attention for office environment easy assessment. On the other hand, the International Energy Agency published latest World Energy Outlook 2013. The global demand for energy will keep rising. Jumping by one-third by 2035. Especially Asia region. Non-OECD Asian countries have more impact on economy and energy until 2035. Low-carbon energy sources will be able to meet around 40 percent of that growth. In Japan the Great East Japan Earthquake on March 11, 2011 caused enormous damage to infrastructure and lead to a 15% peak-power reduction in and around Tokyo. The purpose of HVAC is to maintain high indoor environmental quality (IEQ) and workers' productivity. We conducted continuous field and questionnaire surveys in power-saving office buildings in the summers of 2011-2013. The results indicate that the thermal environment and indoor air quality recovered to pre-quake levels after 2012; whereas, considering the lighting environment, desk level illuminance was greatly decreased from 750 lux (pre-quake) to around 500 lux (post-quake). Nearly all of the workers are satisfied with IEQ today, but this differed with the workers' gender, age, awareness of saving electricity, and work satisfaction. In particular, differences in workers' awareness had a profound effect on their satisfaction with IEQ. This indicates that workers who were supportive of saving electricity experienced and reported greater satisfaction with IEQ. This conclusion will provide clue to the way of the operation and environmental control in the offices in Japan, also in the many countries which unexperienced such the great earthquake. Based on reported data future HVAC is described.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication24th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration, ICR 2015
PublisherInternational Institute of Refrigeration
Number of pages8
ISBN (Electronic)9782362150128
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Externally publishedYes
Event24th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration, ICR 2015 - Yokohama, Japan
Duration: 2015 Aug 162015 Aug 22


Other24th IIR International Congress of Refrigeration, ICR 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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