Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

A comparative study on energy demand through the adaptive thermal comfort approach considering climate change in office buildings of Spain


adaptive comfort, energy demand, performance simulation, climate change


In Spain, the current Building Technical Code (referred to as CTE in Spanish) establishes restrictive setpoint temperatures that ensure high levels of thermal comfort but at the expense of high energy demands. However, the strategy to achieve thermal comfort in offices tends towards the adaptive approach, since users manually open windows, control the operation of the air-conditioning systems, and perform adaptation actions in order to achieve adequate levels of well-being. This research develops the adaptive comfort control implemented model (ACCIM), which dynamically handles the setpoint temperatures based on the limits of adaptive comfort, in three representative climatic zones of the Spanish territory, in both the present scenario and future scenarios. This is carried out by following a methodology based on the phases of (i) analysis of climatic zones, (ii) model construction, (iii) data collection, (iv) simulations in the present scenario, (v) simulations in future scenarios, and (vi) analysis of the results of a theoretical model and of a real-life model. Not only do the results indicate that it is possible to reduce the energy demand, by using adaptive setpoint temperatures, up to 69.91% for the least restrictive category and of 31.34% in the category that has the highest level of expectation of the users, but they also show the variations in demand that would occur in possible future climatic scenarios. The application of the study in a real-life case achieves minimum differences of between 3% and 10%, thereby validating the prediction model.


Tsinghua University Press