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Thermal comfort and carbon reduction are often mentioned in relation to each other.

This is largely due


to the common misconception that the only way to achieve what is regarded by most as a comfortable
thermal environment, high amounts of energy must be consumed, hereby swelling the carbon emission
intensity. With an ever-increasing focus on climate change and the potentially devastating
environmental impact the crisis will have if not deterred, carbon emission reduction in building projects
has become a major concern for building designers. This paper considers the notably complex
relationship between attaining thermal comfort within the built environment and the reduction of
carbon emissions during the building life cycle. Within the context of the current building design culture,
attaining and maintaining a comfortable thermal environment is responsible for the majority of a
building’s operational energy consumption, this does not mean that thermal comfort should be
sacrificed in order to reduce the carbon emission intensity. Instead, new innovative methods of building
design should be applied with the help of technology. This paper weighs these two fundamental aspects
of building design, thermal comfort and carbon emissions reduction, and moves to identify and discuss
improved building design techniques.