A Systematic Review on the Studies of Thermal Comfort in Urban Residential Buildings in China

Yaolin Lin, Pengju Chen, Wei Yang, Xiancun Hu, Lin Tian

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


There have been fruitful publications on thermal comfort of urban residential buildings in China. However, there is a lack of reviews on this topic to perform a comprehensive analysis and find opportunities to meet occupants’ thermal comfort needs while improving building energy efficiencies. This paper addresses this issue by presenting a systematic review on the advancements in research on thermal comfort in urban residential buildings in China. Firstly, two common thermal comfort research approaches, i.e., field studies and laboratory studies, are discussed. Secondly, eleven main thermal comfort evaluation indicators are summarized. Finally, this paper analyzes the thermal comfort survey data from different researchers, discusses the impacts of adaptive behaviors on human thermal comfort, and provides recommendations for future research on urban residential thermal comfort. It was found that people have higher and higher requirements for their indoor thermal environment as time goes by, especially in the winter; the thermoneutral temperature is higher in warmer climate regions in the summer but lower in the winter than in colder climate regions; the thermoneutral temperature tends to increase with the indoor air temperature due to an adaptation to the indoor thermal environment. The outcomes of this paper provide valuable information on thermal comfort behaviors of urban residents in different climate zones in China, which can serve as a resource for the academic community conducting future research on thermal comfort and assist policymakers in enhancing building energy efficiencies without compromising the occupants’ comfort.

Original languageEnglish
Article number991
Pages (from-to)1-38
Number of pages38
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2024


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