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Article
Publication date: 4 November 2014

Meshack O. Efeoma and Ola Uduku

The purpose of this paper is to adduce the most appropriate thermal comfort assessment method for determining human thermal comfort and energy efficient temperature…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to adduce the most appropriate thermal comfort assessment method for determining human thermal comfort and energy efficient temperature control in office buildings in tropical West Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper examines the Adaptive Thermal Comfort Standard, from its research evolution to its contemporary use as an environmental design assessment Standard. It compares the adaptive component of ASHRAE Standard 55 and the European CEN/EN 15251. It begins by reviewing relevant literature and then produces a comparative analysis of the two standards, before suggesting the most appropriate Adaptive Thermal Comfort Standard for use in assessing conditions in tropical climate conditions. The suggested Standard was then used to analyse data collected from the author's pilot research into thermal conditions, in five office buildings situated in the city of Enugu, South Eastern Nigeria.

Findings

The paper provides insight as to why the ASHRAE adaptive model is more suitable for thermal comfort assessment of office buildings in the tropical West African climate. This was demonstrated by using the ASHRAE Thermal Comfort Standard to assess comfort conditions from pilot research study data collected on Nigerian office buildings by the author.

Originality/value

The paper compares the adaptive component of ASHRAE Standard 55 with CEN/EN 15251, and their different benefits for use in tropical climates. It suggested the need for further research studies and application of the ASHRAE Adaptive Thermal Comfort Standard in the tropical West African climate.

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Article
Publication date: 4 May 2021

Alvaro Garay, Angie Ruiz and Jose Guevara

This study aims to analyze the technical, environmental, economic and thermal comfort impacts of implementing passive measures and heating systems in Ciudad Verde, a…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to analyze the technical, environmental, economic and thermal comfort impacts of implementing passive measures and heating systems in Ciudad Verde, a large-scale social housing project located at the periphery of Bogota, Colombia.

Design/methodology/approach

A system dynamics (SD) model is proposed to evaluate scenarios through counterfactual experiments, including technical, environmental and economic components. Model inputs are obtained from building energy simulation models and data collected from official reports, public policy documents and construction records.

Findings

Results suggest that the use of heating systems is the best choice to achieve thermal comfort conditions throughout the day. However, both the capital expenditures and CO2 emissions associated with such system make their adoption very difficult. In line with that, the use of heating systems in combination with passive measures stands out as a viable solution since their costs are affordable and their use contributes to reducing CO2 emissions.

Originality/value

The proposed model recreates the dynamics underlying social housing construction processes, the adoption of heating systems and passive measures in low-income dwellings and their corresponding impact on CO2 emissions and indoor thermal comfort conditions. The model can be employed as a support tool in the formulation of social housing policies associated with thermal comfort specifications. In this way, the model represents a first step toward incorporating thermal-related variables into the decision-making processes related to social housing planning and development.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 March 2021

Ga Yoon Choi, Hwan Sung Kim, Hyungkyoo Kim and Jae Seung Lee

In cities with high density, heat is often trapped between buildings which increases the frequency and intensity of heat events. Researchers have focused on developing…

Abstract

Purpose

In cities with high density, heat is often trapped between buildings which increases the frequency and intensity of heat events. Researchers have focused on developing strategies to mitigate the negative impacts of heat in cities. Adopting green infrastructure and cooling pavements are some of the many ways to promote thermal comfort against heat. The purpose of this study is to improve microclimate conditions and thermal comfort levels in high-density living conditions in Seoul, South Korea.

Design/methodology/approach

This study compares six design alternatives of an apartment complex with different paving and planting systems. It also examines the thermal outcome of the alternatives under normal and extreme heat conditions to suggest strategies to secure acceptable thermal comfort levels for the inhabitants. Each alternative is analyzed using ENVI-met, a software program that simulates microclimate conditions and thermal comfort features based on relationships among buildings, vegetation and pavements.

Findings

The results indicate that grass paving was more effective than stone paving in lowering air temperature and improving thermal comfort at the near-surface level. Coniferous trees were found to be more effective than broadleaf trees in reducing temperature. Thermal comfort levels were most improved when coniferous trees were planted in paired settings.

Practical implications

Landscape elements show promise for the improvement of thermal conditions because it is much easier to redesign landscape elements, such as paving or planting, than to change fixed urban elements like buildings and roads. The results identified the potential of landscape design for improving microclimate and thermal comfort in urban residential complexes.

Originality/value

The results contribute to the literature by examining the effect of tree species and layout on thermal comfort levels, which has been rarely investigated in previous studies.

Details

International Journal of Climate Change Strategies and Management, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1756-8692

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Article
Publication date: 5 May 2020

Qi Jie Kwong, Jim Yexin Yang, Oliver Hoon Leh Ling, Rodger Edwards and Jamalunlaili Abdullah

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the thermal environment of two engineering testing centres cooled via different means using computational fluid dynamics (CFD)…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse the thermal environment of two engineering testing centres cooled via different means using computational fluid dynamics (CFD), focussing on the indoor temperature and air movement. This computational technique has been used in the analysis of thermal environment in buildings where the profiles of thermal comfort parameters, such as air temperature and velocity, are studied.

Design/methodology/approach

A pilot survey was conducted at two engineering testing centres – a passively cooled workshop and an air-conditioned laboratory. Electronic sensors were used in addition to building design documentation to collect the required information for the CFD model–based prediction of air temperature and velocity distribution patterns for the laboratory and workshop. In the models, both laboratory and workshop were presumed to be fully occupied. The predictions were then compared to empirical data that were obtained from field measurements. Operative temperature and predicted mean vote (PMV)–predicted percentage dissatisfied (PPD) indices were calculated in each case in order to predict thermal comfort levels.

Findings

The simulated results indicated that the mean air temperatures of 21.5°C and 32.4°C in the laboratory and workshop, respectively, were in excess of the recommended thermal comfort ranges specified in MS1525, a local energy efficiency guideline for non-residential buildings. However, air velocities above 0.3 m/s were predicted in the two testing facilities, which would be acceptable to most occupants. Based on the calculated PMV derived from the CFD predictions, the thermal sensation of users of the air-conditioned laboratory was predicted as −1.7 where a “slightly cool” thermal experience would prevail, but machinery operators in the workshop would find their thermal environment too warm with an overall sensation score of 2.4. A comparison of the simulated and empirical results showed that the air temperatures were in good agreement with a percentage of difference below 2%. However, the level of correlation was not replicated for the air velocity results, owing to uncertainties in the selected boundary conditions, which was due to limitations in the measuring instrumentation used.

Research limitations/implications

Due to the varying designs, the simulated results of this study are only applicable to laboratory and workshop facilities located in the tropics.

Practical implications

The results of this study will enable building services and air-conditioning engineers, especially those who are in charge of the air-conditioning and mechanical ventilation (ACMV) system design and maintenance to have a better understanding of the thermal environment and comfort conditions in the testing facilities, leading to a more effective technical and managerial planning for an optimised thermal comfort management. The method of this work can be extended to the development of CFD models for other testing facilities in educational institutions.

Social implications

The findings of this work are particularly useful for both industry and academia as the indoor environment of real engineering testing facilities were simulated and analysed. Students and staff in the higher educational institutions would benefit from the improved thermal comfort conditions in these facilities.

Originality/value

For the time being, CFD studies have been carried out to evaluate thermal comfort conditions in various building spaces. However, the information of thermal comfort in the engineering testing centres, of particular those in the hot–humid region are scantily available. The outcomes of this simulation work showed the usefulness of CFD in assisting the management of such facilities not only in the design of efficient ACMV systems but also in enhancing indoor thermal comfort.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. 10 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2021

Arnaud Louis Sountong-Noma Ouedraogo, Adamah Messan, Daniel Yamegueu and Yezouma Coulibaly

A major challenge faced by West Africa is to find comfortable housing as a result of climate change and population growth. The climatic adaptation of buildings and their…

Abstract

Purpose

A major challenge faced by West Africa is to find comfortable housing as a result of climate change and population growth. The climatic adaptation of buildings and their indoor environment become an essential condition for maintaining the health and productivity of the occupants. This paper proposes a model to assess the thermal comfort of naturally ventilated buildings in hot and dry climates in Burkina Faso.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed method is an adaptive model which relies on a combination of parameters such as the operative temperature, the new effective temperature and the basic parameters of thermal comfort. It consists in proposing the zones of thermal comfort on the diagram of the humid air for each climatic region.

Findings

A decision-making tool is set up for evaluating the comfort of buildings to better consider the bio-climatic concept through a long-term comfort index. This comfort index is defined and is used to assess the degree of thermal discomfort for various types of housing. Two natural ventilation pilot buildings located in Ouagadougou were considered. The results show that the pilot building whose wall are is made of Earth blocks achieves 26.4% of thermal comfort while the building made of hollow cement block achieves 25.8% of thermal comfort.

Originality/value

The decision-making tool proposed in the present study allow building stakeholders to better and easily design, assess and improve the thermal environment of buildings.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

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Article
Publication date: 3 June 2019

Mahdi Ashoori, Ghanbarali Sheikhzadeh and Soroush Sadripour

The purpose of this study is to analyze the effect of using a ceiling fan with central heating system in the winter on thermal comfort and heat transfer rate in a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to analyze the effect of using a ceiling fan with central heating system in the winter on thermal comfort and heat transfer rate in a three-dimensional numerically.

Design/methodology/approach

The geometry had certain dimensions, and an occupant was modeled to be in the room. In models which were used, the flow was turbulent, and turbulence models were used for simulating turbulence. Between all the models, k-ε model had best matching.

Findings

Results show that using the ceiling fan during the winter had an efficient and considerable effect on improving the thermal comfort and energy saving inside buildings. By the use of ceiling fan, the effective room temperature has increased by 2.5°C. Furthermore, results show that by using ceiling fan in the winter, the predicted mean vote and the predicted percentage dissatisfied indexes improved. At the end, the case Room 11-0.05-15 with temperature of 87°C for radiator and normal fan velocity of o.25m/s were the optimal model that caused the complete thermal comfort and reduced energy consumption up to 28 per cent.

Originality/value

In the present study, the effects of using the ceiling fans on human comfort condition and heat transfer field during the winter (heating system) are studied. Following are the goals for all models: getting the appropriate temperature for radiator so that thermal comfort condition can be applied at the height of 75 cm of the room, velocity for fan so that air speed can be 0.25m/s at the height of 2 m or lower of the room and position to place the fan.

Details

International Journal of Numerical Methods for Heat & Fluid Flow, vol. 29 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0961-5539

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Article
Publication date: 8 August 2016

Baharuddin Hamzah, Muhammad Taufik Ishak, Syarif Beddu and Mohammad Yoenus Osman

The purpose of this paper is to analyse thermal comfort and the thermal environment in naturally ventilated classrooms. Specifically, the aims of the study were to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyse thermal comfort and the thermal environment in naturally ventilated classrooms. Specifically, the aims of the study were to identify the thermal environment and thermal comfort of respondents in naturally ventilated university classrooms and compare them with the ASHRAE and Indonesian National Standard (SNI); to check on whether the predicted mean vote (PMV) model is applicable or not for predicting the thermal comfort of occupants in naturally ventilated university classrooms; and to analyse the neutral temperature of occupants in the naturally ventilated university classrooms.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was carried out at the new campus of Faculty of Engineering, Hasanuddin University, Gowa campus. A number of field surveys, which measured thermal environments, namely, air temperature, mean radiant temperature (MRT), relative humidity, and air velocity, were carried out. The personal activity and clothing properties were also recorded. At the same time, respondents were asked to fill a questionnaire to obtain their thermal sensation votes (TSV) and thermal comfort votes (TCV), thermal preference, and thermal acceptance. A total of 118 respondents participated in the study. Before the survey was conducted, a brief explanation was provided to the participants to ensure that they understood the study objectives and also how to fill in the questionnaires.

Findings

The results indicated that the surveyed classrooms had higher thermal environments than those specified in the well-known ASHRAE standard and Indonesian National Standard (SNI). However, this condition did not make respondents feel uncomfortable because a large proportion of respondents voted within the comfort zone (+1, 0, and −1). The predictive mean vote using the PMV model was higher than the respondents’ votes either by TSV or by TCV. There was a huge difference between neutral temperature using operative temperature (To) and air temperature (Ta). This difference may have been because of the small value of MRT recorded in the measured classrooms.

Originality/value

The research shows that the use of the PMV model in predicting thermal comfort in the tropic region might be misleading. This is because PMV mostly overestimates the TSV and TCV of the respondents. People in the tropic region are more tolerant to a higher temperature. On the basis of this finding, there is a need to develop a new thermal comfort model for university classrooms that is particularly optimal for this tropical area.

Details

Structural Survey, vol. 34 no. 4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-080X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 July 2021

Peiman Pilechiha, Alireza Norouziasas, Hoorieh Ghorbani Naeini and Kasmir Jolma

In vernacular buildings, many climatic and passive solutions have been used to create indoor thermal comfort. Seasonal occupant movement is an example of a traditional…

Abstract

Purpose

In vernacular buildings, many climatic and passive solutions have been used to create indoor thermal comfort. Seasonal occupant movement is an example of a traditional response to increasing thermal comfort. This article investigates the influence of these user behaviours on thermal comfort in courtyard houses.

Design/methodology/approach

Parametric models of three different scenarios of courtyard houses are simulated. The courtyard houses are located in Shiraz, Iran, and share the same orientation and construction materials. To enhance the accuracy of the study, the indoor adaptive thermal comfort (ATC) analysis is performed with three different window-to-wall ratios (WWR) of 25, 50 and 75%. The ACT analysis is performed on an hourly basis for summer and winter scenarios.

Findings

The results demonstrate that the indoor ATC is 8.3% higher in winter than in the summer in the seasonal zones. During the summer, the amount of ATC is relatively sustained in all zones. Unlike common beliefs, seasonal movement can enhance the ATC, especially during winter, specifically in the northern part of the courtyard. In northern zones, the seasonal movement of occupants improves the indoor ATC from 10.1 to 23.7%, and in southern zones, the improvement is from 2.2 to 4.8%.

Originality/value

This research presents a new numerical investigation into occupants' seasonal movements in courtyard houses during summer and winter. It provides a precise pattern to show how much this seasonal movement can affect the habitant's ATC.

Details

Smart and Sustainable Built Environment, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-6099

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Article
Publication date: 18 July 2018

Hamdan Alzahrani, Mohammed Arif, Amit Kaushik, Jack Goulding and David Heesom

The impact of thermal comfort in educational buildings continues to be of major importance in both the design and construction phases. Given this, it is also equally…

Abstract

Purpose

The impact of thermal comfort in educational buildings continues to be of major importance in both the design and construction phases. Given this, it is also equally important to understand and appreciate the impact of design decisions on post-occupancy performance, particularly on staff and students. This study aims to present the effect of IEQ on teachers’ performance. This study would provide thermal environment requirements to BIM-led school refurbishment projects.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper presents a detailed investigation into the direct impact of thermal parameters (temperature, relative humidity and ventilation rates) on teacher performance. In doing so, the research methodological approach combines explicit mixed-methods using questionnaire surveys and physical measurements of thermal parameters to identify correlation and inference. This was conducted through a single case study using a technical college based in Saudi Arabia.

Findings

Findings from this work were used to develop a model using an artificial neural network (ANN) to establish causal relationships. Research findings indicate an optimal temperature range between 23 and 25°C, with a 65% relative humidity and 0.4 m/s ventilation rate. This ratio delivered optimum results for both comfort and performance.

Originality/value

This paper presents a unique investigation into the effect of thermal comfort on teacher performance in Saudi Arabia using ANN to conduct data analysis that produced indoor environmental quality optimal temperature and relative humidity range.

Details

International Journal of Building Pathology and Adaptation, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2398-4708

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 June 2021

Subhashini S., Thirumaran Kesavaperumal and Masa Noguchi

Occupants dwelling in hot climatic regions of India for a longer term are tolerable to high temperature levels than predicted by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating…

Abstract

Purpose

Occupants dwelling in hot climatic regions of India for a longer term are tolerable to high temperature levels than predicted by American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the thermal sensations (TS) and neutral temperature of the occupants in naturally ventilated (NV) and air-conditioned (AC) classrooms of two technical institutions located in the same premises in the suburbs of Madurai. The main focus of this study is to understand the occupants’ behaviour in response to the thermal conditions of the educational buildings particularly in the warm and humid climatic zone of Madurai.

Design/methodology/approach

This research collected data through field studies. The data included 383 survey questionnaires from NV classrooms and 285 from AC classrooms, as well as on-site measurements of interior and exterior weather conditions. The TS results show that the students preferred well-designed NV classrooms than AC classrooms. A new adaptive comfort equation derived from this study can be applied to NV classrooms in warm and humid climates where mean outdoor temperature exceeds 40°C.

Findings

The neutral temperature derived for NV classrooms in Madurai ranged from 29°C to 34°C. Thus, the occupants in the NV classrooms of the higher learning educational institutions in the warm and humid climatic region of Madurai can adapt well to higher indoor temperature levels than predicted by ASHRAE comfort levels with minimum adjustments.

Research limitations/implications

The study was limited to only occupants in two premier higher learning technical educational institutions located in Madurai region within 5–10 km within the city limits to understand the implications of microclimate with respect to the urban context. Thus, further research is required to examine the tendency under local conditions in other regions beyond those applied to this study.

Social implications

The findings of this study showed that occupants in higher learning educational intuitions in Madurai prefer NV classrooms than AC classrooms. Therefore, with rising demands of energy use for mechanical ventilation and the associated high cost for running AC buildings, architects should prioritize the design of energy efficient buildings through the optimal use of passive design strategies for ventilation and thermal comfort. This study gives a base data for architects to understand the adaptive limitations of occupants and design NV buildings that can promote natural ventilation and provide better thermal environments that can help increase the productivity of students.

Originality/value

This paper was an attempt to develop the adaptive comfort model for NV classrooms in Madurai regions. There has been no attempt to identify the adaptive comfort levels of occupants in higher learning technical educational institutions located in warm and humid climatic region of India.

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