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Buildings 2016, 6(3), 36; doi:10.3390/buildings6030036

Thermal Assessment of Low-Cost Rural Housing—A Case Study in the Ecuadorian Andes

1
UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, University College London, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0NN, UK
2
DMU Institute of Energy and Sustainable Development, De Montfort University, The Gateway, Leicester LE1 9BH, UK
3
Departamento de Ingeniería Mecánica, Escuela Politécnica Nacional, Ladrón de Guevara E11-253, Quito PO Box 17-01-2759, Ecuador
4
UCL Energy Institute, University College London, 14 Upper Woburn Place, London WC1H 0NN, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Adrian Pitts
Received: 30 July 2016 / Revised: 17 August 2016 / Accepted: 26 August 2016 / Published: 5 September 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Building in Rural Areas)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1745 KB, uploaded 5 September 2016]   |  

Abstract

The aim of this research is to assess the indoor thermal performance of rural dwellings in the Ecuadorian highlands through both experimental and numerical analysis. A three-step methodology was applied to conduct the research: (a) field data collection, (b) building thermal model development and calibration, and (c) comparison analysis and assessment of traditional improvement strategies. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected from two representative rural dwellings under typical usage conditions. The first is a traditional construction, medium-exposed thermal mass dwelling (Case A). The second is a local common, uninsulated, lightweight construction (Case B). The thermal model was calibrated by comparing hourly temperature values of the observed and the predicted indoor air temperature. A high correlation level (R2) was achieved between the observed and predicted data; 0.89 in Case A and 0.94 in Case B. The results show that the roof, floor, and the airtightness are the critical building parameters affecting the indoor thermal environment. Likewise, the indoor air temperature is increased up to 4 °C through the implementation of traditional strategies. However, despite the rise in indoor air temperature, acceptable thermal comfort ranges were only reached for 25% of the total hours. View Full-Text
Keywords: rural housing; low-cost housing; earthen architecture; indoor environment; thermal performance rural housing; low-cost housing; earthen architecture; indoor environment; thermal performance
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Miño-Rodríguez, I.; Naranjo-Mendoza, C.; Korolija, I. Thermal Assessment of Low-Cost Rural Housing—A Case Study in the Ecuadorian Andes. Buildings 2016, 6, 36.

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