Indoor Thermal Comfort and Adaptive Thermal Behaviors of Students in Primary Schools Located in the Humid Subtropical Climate of India

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This study investigated children’s perceptions and adaptive behaviors related to indoor thermal conditions of classrooms in primary schools with no air-conditioning systems during both summer and winter in Dehradun City, Uttarakhand, India. Responses were collected from 5297 school children aged 6–13 years. During the measurement periods, 100% and 94% of the samples were obtained under conditions outside an 80% thermally acceptable comfort range in winter and summer, respectively. The analysis using receiver operating characteristics suggested that the students had the least sensitivity to the temperature variation for all scales of the thermal sensation vote (TSV). Approximately 95.1% of students were “very satisfied”, “satisfied”, or “slightly satisfied” with the thermal conditions under the condition of “extreme caution” or “danger” of heat risk. In contrast, adaptive thermal behaviors, such as adjusting clothing insulation ensembles, opening or closing classroom windows and doors, and utilizing ceiling fans, were found to be the most affordable options for optimizing indoor thermal comfort. Children’s reports of thermal sensations and thermal satisfaction did not correspond to the actual physical environment. This draws attention to the adequacy of applying widely used methods of TSV-based identification of the thermal comfort range in classrooms for children, especially in hot environments. The findings of this study are expected to serve as an evidence-based reference for local governments and authorities to take appropriate measures to mitigate heat risks for schoolchildren in the future.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7072
JournalSustainability (Switzerland)
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Jun 1 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Energy Engineering and Power Technology
  • Hardware and Architecture
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment


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