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Sustainability 2017, 9(3), 425; doi:10.3390/su9030425

Thermal, Economic and Environmental Analysis of a Low-Cost House in Alice, South Africa

1
Fort Hare Institute of Technology, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
2
Physics Department, University of Fort Hare, Alice 5700, South Africa
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yongrok Choi
Received: 10 January 2017 / Accepted: 8 March 2017 / Published: 13 March 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Development Initiatives towards Poverty Alleviation)
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Abstract

Indoor and outdoor temperature variation results in heat transfer between the inner and outer space of a house, subsequently drifting the indoor temperature out of the thermal comfort zone. This leads to occupants spending a significant amount of their income on space heating and cooling to achieve thermal comfort. The aim of this study is to analyze the thermal, economic and environmental impact of a low-cost house. A low-cost house located in Golf Course, Alice was used as a case study. The outdoor and indoor weather conditions of the house were monitored for periods covering summer and winter seasons. To maintain indoor thermal comfort, 3412.57 kWh of heating and 3214.75 kWh cooling energy were required in winter and summer seasons, respectively. At a rate of 1 ZAR equal to 13.34 USD and 29.39 c/kWh, the energy consumption results in $1003.02 worth of heating energy in winter and $944.88 of cooling energy in summer. In both seasons, to supply the equivalent amount of thermal energy used in the house from a coal-fired power plant, 9.65 ton of CO2, 81.71 kg of SO2 and 39.50 kg of NO2 gases will be emitted into the atmosphere. Promoting and enforcing energy efficient design in low-cost housing will not only bring about energy savings, but will also provide a year-round indoor thermal comfort. View Full-Text
Keywords: low-cost housing; thermal envelope; social welfare; energy consumption; green gas emission; retrofitting low-cost housing; thermal envelope; social welfare; energy consumption; green gas emission; retrofitting
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Kelvin, O.O.; Edson, M.L.; Golden, M. Thermal, Economic and Environmental Analysis of a Low-Cost House in Alice, South Africa. Sustainability 2017, 9, 425.

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