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Session Overview
WS15: Temperature – more than a thermodynamic state variable
Tuesday, 14/June/2022:
1:30pm - 3:00pm

Session Chair: Tunga Salthammer
Session Chair: Glenn Morrison
Location: CA100

Session Abstract


This workshop focuses on the role of temperature on occupants and indoor phenomena. Alt-hough temperature is among the most mundane of indoor measurements, it is central to oc-cupant comfort, influences behaviors and controls important physical and chemical phenom-ena. Humans are comfortable over a very narrow range of environmental conditions, and control their environment and clothing to ensure those conditions are met. Despite these ef-forts, actual building temperatures, and temperatures across building micro-environments can vary over tens of degrees Celsius. Temperatures and temperature gradients strongly in-fluence indoor energy transfer, chemical emissions and reaction rates, growth of microor-ganisms and human exposure. Some of these processes are not readily predictable from first principles, owing to their complexity. Therefore, temperature’s effect on indoor phenomena remains a topic worthy of study. The topic is interdisciplinary, and with this workshop we aim to give the participants a deeper understanding of temperature from a thermodynamic and practical perspective across multiple domains.


The aim of this workshop is to discuss the state of knowledge on this topic and develop ideas for near-term research priorities related to temperature. During the workshop, three broad topics will be discussed: 1) temporal, spatial, regional and seasonal building temperatures; 2) temperature and indoor chemistry 3) temperature dependence of indoor pollutant concen-trations and exposure; 4) thermal interaction of the building environment and humans. This workshop will appeal to a broad group of scholars, as indoor temperature effects are treated fundamentally, but with some specific problems posed as examples. Scientists who deal with physiology and health aspects are addressed as well as physical chemists and engineers.

The organizers of the workshop will give a short general introduction to the topic of about 5 minutes. Each topic is presented by a team of two experts in a maximum of 10 minutes. The dialogue between the two speakers then turns into the discussion. For each topic, three key points are noted as to what knowledge is available and where is a need for further research. Major outcomes of the workshop will be summarized in a report.


Introduction 1 – What is temperature?

Tunga Salthammer, Fraunhofer WKI

Introduction 2 – What is the indoor temperature?

Glenn Morrison, University of North Carolina

Indoor temperature and outdoor climate

Jorn Toftum, DTU

Dusan Licina 48","ClassId":1073872969,"Properties":[469775450,"Author",201340122,"2",134233614,"true",469778129,"Author",335572020,"1",268442635,"24",335559705,"1035",335551550,"6",335551620,"6",469778324,"Normal"]}">EPFL 

Temperature and indoor chemistry

Michael Waring, Drexel University

Temperature and indoor exposure

Wenjuan Wei, CSTB

Ying Xu, Tsinghua University

Feedback loops: occupant responses to climate and impacts

Bjarne Olesen, Rune Andersen

TOPIC 1: Indoor temperature and outdoor climate

Climate change is predicted to result in a permanent increase in average temperatures, the number of hot days, heat waves and extreme weather events. Changes in moisture content and increasing photochemical reactions are predicted to affect the atmosphere, which can lead to increased formation of ozone and particles. Climatic changes can directly affect air quality and well-being in buildings, especially during heat waves. As a result, potential risks for human health are anticipated, particularly for children, the elderly and sensitive popula-tion groups. Unconditioned buildings in particular will be warmer in the future. Apart from heat action plans as short-term primary measures, well-planned and constructed building envelopes equipped with effective conditioning, ventilation and filter technologies are seen as a response to climate change. The state of the art will be discussed in this workshop from an international point of view.

TOPIC 2: Temperature and indoor chemistry

While fundamental chemical reaction rates are predictably temperature dependent, the tem-perature dependence of emergent phenomena resulting from indoor chemistry is more com-plex. For example, chemical reactions with unsaturated precursor molecules lead to the formation of new compounds; in air, they can then condense into secondary organic aerosols (SOA). As temperature rises, reaction rates tend to increase but partitioning of products to SOA can decrease. Surface and condensed phase chemistry are similarly complex. This pan-el will discuss the current and future importance of temperature effects for indoor chemistry and the extent to which currently used models such as INCA (Interaction with Chemistry and Aerosols), IMAGES (Indoor Model of Aerosols, Gases, Emissions, and Surfaces) and INDCM (Detailed Chemical Model for Indoor Air) are able to take temperature effects into account.

Topic 3: Temperature, indoor pollutant concentrations and exposure

The expected shifts to higher temperatures in the indoor environment will also affect the concentrations of gaseous and particulate substances in the room air. In general, the emis-sion rates of VVOCs, VOCs and SVOCs from products increase with temperature and chem-ical reactions usually proceed faster with increasing temperature. On the other hand, the va-por pressure of a substance also increases with increasing temperature, which counteracts both the formation of particles and the accumulation of substances in sinks, especially house dust. We therefore expect human exposure to also be influenced by temperature, especially considering the broad range of indoor environmental conditions found within a building and among buildings. In this workshop, the complex physical relationships of such temperature effects on indoor pollutants and their impact on human exposure will be explained and dis-cussed. The panel will discuss also consider temperature in the context of building construc-tion and building controls that could passively or actively limit exposure.

TOPIC 4: Temperature and occupant behaviors

Seeking comfortable conditions, occupants alter clothing, operate windows and adjust ther-mostat settings if possible. These activities can alter the indoor environment in other ways, unanticipated by the occupants. Climate change will also change the extent, timing and sea-sonality of occupant behaviors, especially in naturally ventilated buildings. In this session, occupant behaviours in response to their local conditions will be discussed in the context of their influence on temperature, air exchange and other building factors, which in turn influ-ence so many


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ID: 404
Topics: 3. Thermal comfort, 4a. Chemistry, sources, transformations - Indoor air chemistry, 4b. Chemistry, sources, transformations - Material emissions, 10b. Mega-trends and indoor air quality - Climate change and indoor climate
Keywords: Thermodynamics, human perception, buildings, chemical reactions, climate change

Temperature – more than a thermodynamic state variable

Chair(s): Tunga Salthammer (Fraunhofer WKI, Germany), Glenn Morrison (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)

Presenter(s): Jorn Toftum (DTU Lyngby, DK), Dusan Licina (EPFL, Fribourg, CH), Michael Waring (Drexel University), Wenjuan Wei (CSTB), Bjarne Olesen (DTU), Barbara Turpin (UNC), Ying Xu (Tsinghua University), Rune Andersen (DTU)

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