The objective of this work is to develop an improved model of the human thermal system. The features included are important to solve real problems: 3D heat conduction, the use of elliptical cylinders to adequately approximate body geometry, the careful representation of tissues and important organs, and the flexibility of the computational implementation. Focus is on the passive system, which is composed by 15 cylindrical elements and it includes heat transfer between large arteries and veins. The results of thermal neutrality and transient simulations are in excellent agreement with experimental data, indicating that the model represents adequately the behavior of the human thermal system. (C) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.