Paper Conference

Proceedings of Building Simulation 2021: 17th Conference of IBPSA


Physiological modeling of thermal responses of the elderly under heat-stressful conditions

Lili Ji 1, Abdelaziz Laouadi 2, Chang Shu 1, Abhishek Gaur 2, Michael Lacasse 2, Liangzhu Leon Wang 1
1 Department of Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Concordia University, Montreal, Canada
2 Construction Research Center, National Research Council Canada, Ottawa, Canada

Abstract: Under heat-stressful conditions, occupants can adapt to the environment by regulating sweating or blood flow to the surface of the skin. However, the ability of the human body thermoregulation declines with age due to agerelated physiological and thermoregulatory changes such as the delay in vasodilation and sweating and lower metabolism. Therefore, elderly people (>60 years old) are more vulnerable during indoor overheating events than younger people. This study addressed the development of a general two-node bioheat model for the elderly to predict their thermal response under hot exposure. The elderly model is built on an improved two-node model for young adults but considers the delayed threshold temperatures for vasodilation and sweating suitable for the average elderly. Both models for the young (by turning off age-related physiological changes) and elderly people were validated using third-party experimental data. The discrepancy between the model predictions and measurement data for the core and mean skin temperatures are within 0.15 °C and 0.5 °C, respectively.
Keywords: Elderly people, Thermal comfort model, Overheating risk, Regulatory sweating
Pages: 1005 - 1012