Climate responsive buildings: a comfort assessment of buildings on KNUST campus, Kumasi

Christian Koranteng (Department of Architecture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Barbara Simons (Department of Construction Technology and Management, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)
Charles Essel (Department of Architecture, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana)

Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology

ISSN: 1726-0531

Publication date: 27 April 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The ever-increasing demand and consumption of energy and the effects of global warming with its long-term comrade, climate change, is obvious today than ever before. In today’s world, naturally-ventilated buildings hardly provide the satisfaction that occupants need and wish for. It’s on this backdrop that the study aims to investigate how responsive buildings on the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana campus are to its warm humid climate and assess students thermal comfort levels.

Design/methodology/approach

Quantitative approach was adopted for the study. Empirical investigation was carried out using the survey approach. In total, 14 buildings (offices, classrooms and halls of residences) were assessed using the Mahoney Tables. Again, subjective thermal perceptions of occupants in the halls of residences was sought. A total of 214 valid questionnaires were used for the analysis.

Findings

Adaptive principles like the Mahoney Tables are not followed in recent years. Even where these principles have been followed, indoor spaces were still found to be uncomfortable. In total, 58 per cent of the occupants in all the three halls of residence voted in the comfort band: an indication unacceptable sensations. Warm sensation votes (44 per cent) was more than cool sensation votes (29 per cent). In warm sensation, 39 per cent of the subjects preferred cooler environment. The occupants felt that opening windows and the use of fans could keep them comfortable. Moreover, 48 per cent of the subjects voted that their fans and windows were effective.

Originality/value

The papers contribution to the body of knowledge is the provision of empirical evidence in the field of adaptive designs and thermal comfort. There is a strong indication from the results that human activities in terms of blatant disregard for laid down design principles coupled with the worsening situation of global warming is making interior spaces ever uncomfortable.

Keywords

Citation

Koranteng, C., Simons, B. and Essel, C. (2019), "Climate responsive buildings: a comfort assessment of buildings on KNUST campus, Kumasi", Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology , Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/JEDT-03-2019-0054

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Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

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