Forty years of Fanger's model of thermal comfort: comfort for all?

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Abstract

The predicted mean vote (PMV) model of thermal comfort, created by Fanger in the late 1960s, is used worldwide to assess thermal comfort. Fanger based his model on college-aged students for use in invariant environmental conditions in air-conditioned buildings in moderate thermal climate zones. Environmental engineering practice calls for a predictive method that is applicable to all types of people in any kind of building in every climate zone. In this publication, existing support and criticism, as well as modifications to the PMV model are discussed in light of the requirements by environmental engineering practice in the 21st century in order to move from a predicted mean vote to comfort for all. Improved prediction of thermal comfort can be achieved through improving the validity of the PMV model, better specification of the model's input parameters, and accounting for outdoor thermal conditions and special groups. The application range of the PMV model can be enlarged, for instance, by using the model to assess the effects of the thermal environment on productivity and behavior, and interactions with other indoor environmental parameters, and the use of information and communication technologies. Even with such modifications to thermal comfort evaluation, thermal comfort for all can only be achieved when occupants have effective control over their own thermal environment.

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