Rev Prof Michael A Humphreys

BSc(Dunelm), MA(Oxon), DipEd(Dunelm), MASHRAE, Hon MSHASE

Emeritus Professor of Architecture
Research Associate - OISD:LCB


Michael Humphreys is a Physicist whose career has been in Christian Ministry and in Environmental Research. He is known internationally for thermal comfort field research and for his part in the conceptual development of the adaptive approach to environmental comfort. He was on the staff of the Building Research Establishment from 1966-78, becoming Head of the Human Factors Section and has been associated with Thermal Comfort Unit at Oxford Brookes University since 1993, being appointed Research Professor in 2001.

He has been a Consultant to the Building Research Establishment, to CIBSE, BSRIA and the RUROS European Cities Project, a PhD examiner for Cambridge, London, Lausanne and Sheffield Universities, and is a Visiting Professor at London Metropolitan University. His current concerns are the statistical analysis of large field databases, the logical structure and modelling of human adaptive environmental behaviour in and around buildings, the interaction between various facets of the environment, and the practical expression of these matters in British guidelines and in European and American standards. He also works in the field of statistical linguistics applied to the Greek text of the New Testament. He has some 80 publications.

A selection of recent publications

M A Humphreys, H B Rijal and J F Nicol 2010 Examining and developing the adaptive relation between climate and thermal comfort indoors. Proceedings of Conference: Adapting to Change: New Thinking on Comfort Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, UK, 9-11 April 2010. London: Network for Comfort and Energy Use in Buildings,, 29pp.

Michael A Humphreys, J Fergus Nicol, Iftikhar A Raja 2007 Field studies of thermal comfort and the progress of the adaptive model. Advances in Building Energy Research, Volume 1, pp55-88

Michael A Humphreys & J Fergus Nicol 2007 Self-assessed productivity and the office environment: monthly surveys in five European countries. ASHRAE Transactions, 113(1), pp606-616.

Michael A Humphreys & Mary Hancock 2007 Do people like to feel 'neutral'? Exploring the variation of the desired sensation on the ASHRAE scale. Energy and Buildings 39(7) 867-874.

M A Humphreys 2005 Quantifying occupant comfort: are combined indices of the indoor environment practicable? Building Research & Information, 2005, 33(4), pp317-325.

MA Humphreys & JF Nicol 2004 Do people like to feel "Neutral"? Response to the ASHRAE scale of subjective warmth in relation to thermal preference, indoor and outdoor temperature. ASHRAE Transactions, 110(2), 2004, pp569-577.

MA Humphreys, JF Nicol and KJ McCartney 2002 An analysis of some subjective assessments of indoor air-quality in five European countries. Indoor Air 2002. (Vol 5, pp 86-91, Proceedings of the 9th international conference on indoor air quality and climate, Monterey, California, USA

M A Humphreys & J F Nicol 2002 The validity of ISO-PMV for predicting comfort votes in every-day life. Energy and Buildings 34 (2002) 667-684

A selection of older publications

M A Humphreys & J F Nicol, 1998 Understanding the adaptive approach to thermal comfort. ASHRAE Transactions, Vol 104(1), pp991-1004.

M A Humphreys 1995 Thermal comfort temperatures and the habits of Hobbits pp 3-13 in: Standards for Thermal Comfort Eds: F Nicol, M Humphreys, O Sykes & S Roaf; E & F N Spon (Chapman & Hall)

M A Humphreys 1981 The dependence of comfortable temperature upon indoor and outdoor climate In: Bioengineering, Thermal Physiology and Comfort Eds: K Cena & J A Clark, Elsevier, pp 229-250

M A Humphreys 1979 The influence of season and ambient temperature on human clothing behaviour In: Indoor Climate Eds: P O Fanger & O Valbjorn, Danish Building Research, Copenhagen, pp 699-713

M A Humphreys 1978 Outdoor temperatures and comfort indoors Building Research and Practice (J. CIB) 6(2), pp 92-105

M A Humphreys 1975 Field studies of thermal comfort compared and applied Department of the Environment: Building Research Establishment, CP 76/75 (Reissued in: J. Inst. Heat. & Vent. Eng. 44, pp 5-27, 1976)


School of Architecture

Oxford Brookes University
Headington Campus
Gipsy Lane
Oxford, OX3 0BP