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Design Tools for Evaluating Alternative Strategies' Impact on Human Comfort
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Many designers recognize that energy savings can be achieved with alternative or innovative strategies; however, few design tools have been available to assist designers with evaluating alternatives. This paper demonstrates the use of a standard psychrometric chart enhanced with an expanded comfort zone plot based on multiple energy conservation strategies. Average local weather conditions can be plotted by month on the psychrometric chart to indicate which design alternatives have the greatest potential benefits. By utilizing a familiar engineering design tool to communicate integrated design techniques, better coordination can be achieved between architects and engineers. Victor Olgyay pioneered similar work at Notre Dame in the 1950's; however, his unusual graphical presentation has hindered widespread understanding and use of the fundamentals of expanded comfort zones. This paper outlines the basic concept of the expanded comfort zone with applications for use of mean radiant temperatures, direct radiation. air movement and evaporative cooling with examples shown for Dallas and Houston climates.
Holder, L. M. III; Hart, M. N. (1985). Design Tools for Evaluating Alternative Strategies' Impact on Human Comfort. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from