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Type: Journal article
Title: Thermal personalities of older people in South Australia: A personas-based approach to develop thermal comfort guidelines
Author: Bennetts, H.
Arakawa Martins, L.
van Hoof, J.
Soebarto, V.
Citation: International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020; 17(22):8402-1-8402-22
Publisher: MDPI AG
Issue Date: 2020
ISSN: 1660-4601
Statement of
Helen Bennetts, Larissa Arakawa Martins, Joost van Hoof and Veronica Soebarto
Abstract: An important consideration for future age-friendly cities is that older people are able to live in housing appropriate for their needs. While thermal comfort in the home is vital for the health and well-being of older people, there are currently few guidelines about how to achieve this. This study is part of a research project that aims to improve the thermal environment of housing for older Australians by investigating the thermal comfort of older people living independently in South Australia and developing thermal comfort guidelines for people ageing-in-place. This paper describes the approach fundamental for developing the guidelines, using data from the study participants’ and the concept of personas to develop a number of discrete “thermal personalities”. Hierarchical Cluster Analysis (HCA) was implemented to analyse the features of research participants, resulting in six distinct clusters. Quantitative and qualitative data from earlier stages of the project were then used to develop the thermal personalities of each cluster. The thermal personalities represent different approaches to achieving thermal comfort, taking into account a wide range of factors including personal characteristics, ideas, beliefs and knowledge, house type, and location. Basing the guidelines on thermal personalities highlights the heterogeneity of older people and the context-dependent nature of thermal comfort in the home and will make the guidelines more user-friendly and useful.
Keywords: housing; cluster analysis; thermal comfort; design guidelines; heating; cooling
Description: Published: 13 November 2020
Rights: © 2020 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
DOI: 10.3390/ijerph17228402
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