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The end result of a good HVAC system is a suitable thermal environment for the occupants of a conditioned space. ASHRAE Standard 55-1981 establishes measurable limits for the level of drafts, temperature gradients, and radiant temperature asymmetry necessary to assure an acceptable thermal environment. Tests have been conducted to evaluate a space against requirements based on this standard.

A test chamber was built to investigate the thermal environment in a perimeter office under typical winter conditions. Sufficient measurements were made to compile detailed draft and temperature data throughout the room. With graphical analysis of the data, performance can be shown to respond to selected input variables. Tests of the type performed could be used by a building designer to make selective choices in the perimeter heating design.

Additional tests were conducted to evaluate radiance effects. These tests compare alternate methods of determining heat loads and MRT values in conjunction with the requirements of Standard 55-1981.