Adaptive Thermal Comfort Evaluation Of Typical Public Primary School Classrooms In Imo State, Nigeria
Keywords:Children, Climate, Enclosed space, Naturally ventilated, Open plan, Thermal comfort
Climate change is causing high-temperature increase, which is affecting people’s health especially the vulnerable group such as children. Literature reviews revealed various complaints about health issues caused by heat stress as they relate to this group exposed to poor indoor thermal conditions while they are engaged in class activities. This problem necessitated a need to evaluate the thermal conditions of occupants of some selected public primary schools, used as case studies, in which 134 pupils, aged 7-12 years, participated in the survey. The main objective was to determine the indoor thermal conditions of the classrooms and to compare the occupant’s thermal sensations, thermal preference and thermal acceptability in these selected spaces. This paper presents the results of this field survey conducted in the months of October and early November 2017 in two categories of naturally ventilated spaces; the ‘’open plan’’ and the ‘’enclosed space’’ classrooms located in Imo State, Nigeria. The indoor and outdoor thermal variables were recorded together with the simultaneous administration of the questionnaire to evaluate how the pupils feel about the indoor thermal conditions in the classrooms. Results revealed that the mean thermal sensation vote in the combined ‘’open plan classrooms’’ was -0.04, while that of the ‘’enclosed space classrooms’’ was +0.32, adopting the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) scale. Though the two classrooms reported different thermal sensations votes, the indoor thermal conditions were generally accepted by the occupants probably attributed to their adaptive abilities and the season the survey was conducted. The results may not be generalized to apply to all seasons since this very study was conducted during the late part of the rainy season. This, however, provides useful information to architects and engineers who are keen on designing and constructing sustainable indoor spaces.
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