Over the past century, many research studies have been conducted in an attempt to define thermal conditions for humans in the outdoor environment and to grade thermal sensation. Consequently, a large number of indices have been proposed. The examination of human thermal indices by thermal subjective perception has become recently a methodical issue to confirm the accuracy, applicability and validation of human thermal indices. The aims of this study are: (a) to review studies containing both calculated human thermal conditions and subjective thermal perception in the outdoor environment (b) to identify the most used human thermal indices for evaluating human thermal perception (c) to examine the relation between human thermal comfort range and outdoor thermal environment conditions and (d) to compare between categories of thermal sensation in different climatic zones based on subjective perception and levels of thermal strain. A comprehensive literature review identified 110 peer-reviewed articles which investigated in-situ thermal conditions versus subjective thermal perception during 2001–2017. It seems that out of 165 human thermal indices that have been developed, only 4 (PET, PMV, UTCI, SET*) are widely in use for outdoor thermal perception studies. Examination of the relation between human thermal comfort range and outdoor thermal environment conditions for selective indices in different climatic zones shows that the range of the thermal comfort or dis-comfort is affected by the outdoor thermal environment. For the PET index, the “neutral” range for hot climates of 24–26 °C is agreed by 95% of the studies where for cold climate, the “neutral” range of 15–20 °C is agreed by 89% of the studies. For the UTCI, the “no thermal stress” category is common to all climates. The “no stress category” of 16–23 °C is agreed by 80% of the case studies, while 100% of the case studies agreed that the range is between 18 and 23 °C.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Environmental Engineering
- Environmental Chemistry
- Waste Management and Disposal