Studying the thermal comfort in metropolitan homes with the participation of children

  • Smart energy management

The “Vigilants de la Calor” project has started and a hundred children from 3 schools in the metropolitan area will participate. The aim is to generate new data on thermal comfort in metropolitan homes. Through citizen science, the research aims to make heat adaptation proposals to public administrations, based on the experiences and suggestions of children and their families.

The project, which has been commissioned and financed by the Metropolitan Area of ​​Barcelona, ​​also has the support of the European initiative Impetus which accompanies citizen science projects in the field of climate change, and is promoted by the Institute Metropoli and IREC.

Sensors to measure the temperature of the different spaces at home

The project, started in May 2024, has already started the thermal comfort monitoring campaigns through sensors and heat diaries. The children, with the help of their families, have installed the sensors in the living room or dining room, in the adults’ room and also in their own. As for the heat diaries, the children wrote down their feeling of heat every day and also collected the tricks and ideas they have to deal with the heat.

Training in schools

The Institut Metròpoli and IREC have carried out different sessions with the 6th grade students of the Institut Escola Coves d’en Cimany, in Carmel (Barcelona), ​​and with the 5th grade group from the Miguel de Unamuno school in Santa Coloma de Gramenet, in order to present the project and invite the children to become Heat Watchers.

During these sessions, three in each school, dynamic activities have been carried out focusing on their perception of thermal comfort in the spaces they usually use during the summer including the swimming pool, the street or the beach. The children become familiar with the use of environmental sensors that collect data on temperature, humidity and CO2 concentration, and have learned about energy habits that can contribute to improving their comfort while saving energy.

During September, the project will be replicated at a third school, the Pep Ventura school in l’Hospitalet de Llobregat. Likewise, there will be a final return session at the three schools, and a specific session with the families, in order to share the results of the study and collect co-created proposals for the heat adaptation.

This project has been selected by the European IMPETUS call through one of the Kickstarting Grants to accelerate and support innovative citizen science projects that foster resilience in the face of the climate emergency.

If you want more information, you can find it on the IMPETUS page dedicated to the citizen science initiatives that are part of the second edition of the Accelerator program.

IMPETUS is funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.