HEATING, VENTILATION & AIR CONDITIONING
COMFORT IS KEY
Denis Kerr, sales director at
Krantz, explores the important
relationship between thermal
comfort in the workplace and
employee wellbeing and its impact
on productivity and health.
When we think about thermal
comfort in the workspace, it is
advised to avoid confusing the
term with air quality especially as
the two differ.
Air quality tends to pertain to controlled
environments such as laboratories, where
contaminants and pollutants must be removed
or displaced. The minimum fresh air must also
frequently vary according to the occupancy rate.
While air quality is more concerned with the
reduction of harmful particulates in an occupied
zone, thermal comfort has more of a relation to
BUILDING PRODUCTS | SEPTEMBER 8
employee health and wellbeing. As buildings must
be designed with employee health and wellbeing
as a priority, sophisticated air-distribution systems
must be able to provide a high-standard of
To ensure optimum thermal comfort is
maintained in occupied zones, businesses
selecting air-distribution systems are advised to
acquaint themselves with the standard: BS EN ISO
7730:2006, ‘Overview of design regulations for
thermal comfort’. This industry standard predicts
the estimated percentage of occupants which
could be dissatisfied with the level of thermal
comfort in a space.
ISO 7730 analyses the ‘predicted mean vote’
(PMV) with the ‘predicted percentage dissatisfied’
(PPD) to look at comfort limits. Companies
design, manufacture and select equipment to this
standard in order to ensure optimum comfort
levels are achieved in a working environment.
But how is this type of dissatisfaction measured?
Dissatisfied occupants are those who see their
Poor thermal comfort
can result in sickness