Application of human thermal load into unsteady condition for improvement of outdoor thermal comfort

Yasuhiro Shimazaki*, Atsumasa Yoshida, Ryota Suzuki, Takeshi Kawabata, Daiki Imai, Shinichi Kinoshita

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Human thermal comfort is studied as a countermeasure to the thermal stress in outdoor urban space. Outdoors, people experience the strong impact of solar radiation in states that are unsteady and non-uniform. The feeling of comfort is a mixed sensation that can be easier to improve overall, as compared with a global large-scale effort, and can lead to improved ways of saving energy and reducing costs. Moreover, this can be directly beneficial to human experience and fulfill natural human desires. Since a thermal comfort index is a useful tool for understanding the present state and evaluating the impact of countermeasures, we examine the effects of the human thermal load, which is a thermal comfort index based on the energy balance of the human body. In a steady state, and even in an unsteady state with its variations in weather and human factors, thermal comfort values can generally be obtained by using the overall human thermal load. The reason for this is that the human thermal load takes physiological factors in account as well as weather parameters. This leads to the idea that thermal sensations follow from the human thermal load, which can then well describe a given human environment. As a result, human sensations as expressed by the human thermal load pave the way to the creation of comfortable urban spaces that require minimum expense and energy as an example of simple heat transport model focusing on urban outer structure.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1716-1724
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2011 Aug
Externally publishedYes


  • Energy balance
  • Feeling temperature
  • Radiative environment
  • Thermal sensation
  • Transient
  • Urban space

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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