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Buildings 2015, 5(4), 1242-1264; doi:10.3390/buildings5041242

Contribution of Portuguese Vernacular Building Strategies to Indoor Thermal Comfort and Occupants’ Perception

Centre for Territory, Environment and Construction (CTAC), University of Minho, Campus de Azurém, 4800-058 Guimarães, Portugal
These authors contributed equally to this work.
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Adrian Pitts
Received: 28 September 2015 / Revised: 5 November 2015 / Accepted: 12 November 2015 / Published: 17 November 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Buildings: Design for Comfort and Users)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [5753 KB, uploaded 17 November 2015]   |  

Abstract

Solar passive strategies that have been developed in vernacular architecture from different regions are a response to specific climate effects. These strategies are usually simple, low-tech and have low potential environmental impact. For this reason, several studies highlight them as having potential to reduce the demands of non-renewable energy for buildings operation. In this paper, the climatic contrast between northern and southern parts of mainland Portugal is presented, namely the regions of Beira Alta and Alentejo. Additionally, it discusses the contribution of different climate-responsive strategies developed in vernacular architecture from both regions to assure thermal comfort conditions. In Beira Alta, the use of glazed balconies as a strategy to capture solar gains is usual, while in Alentejo the focus is on passive cooling strategies. To understand the effectiveness of these strategies, thermal performances and comfort conditions of two case studies were evaluated based on the adaptive comfort model. Field tests included measurement of hygrothermal parameters and surveys on occupants’ thermal sensation. From the results, it has been found that the case studies have shown a good thermal performance by passive means alone and that the occupants feel comfortable, except during winter where there is the need to use simple heating systems. View Full-Text
Keywords: vernacular architecture; solar passive strategies; comfort; bioclimatic design; occupants and users vernacular architecture; solar passive strategies; comfort; bioclimatic design; occupants and users
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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MDPI and ACS Style

Fernandes, J.; Pimenta, C.; Mateus, R.; Silva, S.M.; Bragança, L. Contribution of Portuguese Vernacular Building Strategies to Indoor Thermal Comfort and Occupants’ Perception. Buildings 2015, 5, 1242-1264.

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