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Buildings 2018, 8(1), 5; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings8010005

An Investigation of Thermal Comfort and Adaptive Behaviors in Naturally Ventilated Residential Buildings in Tropical Climates: A Pilot Study

1
School of Engineering and Built Environment, Griffith University, Gold Coast, QLD 4215, Australia
2
Department of Architecture, University of Moratuwa, Moratuwa 10400, Sri Lanka
3
Department of Architecture, National University of Singapore, Singapore 117566, Singapore
4
Department of Architecture, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 9 November 2017 / Revised: 20 December 2017 / Accepted: 2 January 2018 / Published: 3 January 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Human Factors in Green Building)
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Abstract

This article presents a pilot study of thermal comfort and adaptive behaviors of occupants who live in naturally ventilated dormitories at the campus of the National University of Singapore. A longitudinal survey and field measurement were conducted to measure thermal comfort, adaptive behaviors and indoor environment qualities. This study revealed that occupants living in naturally ventilated buildings in tropics were exposed to higher operative temperatures than what American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) comfort standards recommend for naturally conditioned spaces. However, they still felt that such conditions were acceptable. Two behavioral adjustments were found to have profound impacts on occupants’ acceptance of the imposed heat stresses: (1) increasing the indoor air velocity by turning on mechanical fans and opening the door/windows for cross ventilation, and (2) reducing clothing insulation by changing clothes and dressing in fewer clothes. Higher indoor air velocities were also associated with greater satisfaction with indoor air quality. The future study should develop a statistical model to correlate adaptive behaviors with temperature variations for tropical climates. View Full-Text
Keywords: natural ventilation; thermal comfort; thermal adaption; tropical climate; indoor environment quality natural ventilation; thermal comfort; thermal adaption; tropical climate; indoor environment quality
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Gou, Z.; Gamage, W.; Lau, S.S.-Y.; Lau, S.S.-Y. An Investigation of Thermal Comfort and Adaptive Behaviors in Naturally Ventilated Residential Buildings in Tropical Climates: A Pilot Study. Buildings 2018, 8, 5.

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