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Thermal Comfort Study in a Naturally Ventilated Residential Building in a Tropical Hot-Humid Climate Region
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This paper presents a thermal comfort study in a naturally ventilated residential building located in a tropical hot-humid climate region. The specific objective of this study is to investigate whether thermal comfort in this house can be achieved through a passive system only. The methods used in this study included conducting hourly monitoring of the temperature and relative humidity; measuring the air velocities; and assessing occupants' thermal sensations through questionnaires and interview. The data from the questionnaires were matched to the monitored data to assess the acceptable range of comfortable condition. Then using an hourly simulation program, some components of the building were also "modified" to investigate whether the building can be made "more comfortable". This study shows that it is possible to provide a thermally comfortable space in this region without using mechanical air-conditioning systems. The occupants' acceptable range of comfortable condition is different than that of people in the northern latitudes. The occupants sensed "neutrality" when the operative temperature in the house was about 27 degree Celsius (80°F). The occupants could also tolerate slightly warm conditions, that is up to 29 degree Celsius (84OF), and still never wanted to install any air-conditioning systems. The simulation showed that using light wall materials would result in cooler indoor temperature at night but warmer during the day. If all windows were opened (25% the total floor area) the house could be more comfortable at night but less comfortable during the day. Findings of this study are important for architects and engineers in designing comfortable living spaces in these regions.
Soebarto, V. I.; Handjarinto, S. (1998). Thermal Comfort Study in a Naturally Ventilated Residential Building in a Tropical Hot-Humid Climate Region. Energy Systems Laboratory (http://esl.tamu.edu); Texas A&M University (http://www.tamu.edu). Available electronically from