The building sector is one of the most resource-exhausting areas in global energy consumption. Maintaining good thermal comfort for occupants is the leading energy demand in buildings. The primary purpose of the current study is to identify the development of research areas on occupant comfort, pinpoint the gaps in knowledge and recommend directions for future studies. A scientometric analysis and a comprehensive systematic literature review are conducted using 792 sources. It is evident from the exponential increase in published papers that scholars are highly interested in this research topic. However, discrepancies remain between the two fundamental models of evaluating thermal comfort. There is a pressing need to balance thermal comfort while increasing energy efficiency. The foundation of achieving this balance can only be done by correctly evaluating the surrounding environment of occupants and understanding all the factors influencing human thermal comfort conditions. There is also a high potential in employing industry 4.0 technologies to assist in designing more innovative solutions for thermal comfort. Furthermore, there is a need for local thermal standards targeting specific regions. The lack of interoperability between 3D building information modeling (BIM) and energy simulation tools remains an obstacle.
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