Thermal Comfort and Fashion

March 25, 2011
  ASHRAE is studying the impact of non-western fashions, such as burqas or saris, and the effect on thermal comfort levels.

ASHRAE is studying the impact of non-western fashions such as burqas or saris, and the effect on thermal comfort levels.

Many studies have been conducted researching the impact of western clothing insulation values, and ASHRAE seeks to discover information on different styles of clothing, which could influence the design of ventilation and air-conditioning systems to facilitate superior thermal comfort for occupants.

“Given the growing energy needs of large nations such as India, China and Pakistan, all of which often have different clothing styles from western nations, knowing more about the impact of clothing on comfort is essential to improving ventilation and air-conditioning systems for these countries,” says John Stoops, head of the project monitoring subcommittee for Technical Committee 2.1, Physiology & Human Environment, which is overseeing the project.

“The project also will look at how different fabrics and body postures and movements impact the insulation value of cloth. We expect to find that the results of non-western wear on thermal comfort will be different than that of western wear due to looser fit, long gowns and lighter materials that promote movement of air.”

1504-TRP, “Extension of the Clothing Insulation Database for Standard 55 and ISO 7730 to Provide Data for Non-Western Clothing Ensembles, Including Data on the Effect of Posture and Air Movement on that Insulation,” is currently out for bid by ASHRAE. The deadline to submit is May 16.

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