Air movement acceptability and thermal comfort in Brazil's hot humid zone

C. Cândido, R. J. de Dear, R. Lamberts, L. Bittencourt

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116 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In hot humid climates, natural ventilation is an essential passive strategy in order to maintain thermal comfort inside buildings and it can be also used as an energy-conserving design strategy to reduce building cooling loads by removing heat stored in the buildings thermal mass. In this context, many previous studies have focused on thermal comfort and air velocity ranges. However, whether this air movement is desirable or not remains an open area. This paper aims to identify air movement acceptability levels inside naturally ventilated buildings in Brazil. Minimal air velocity values corresponding to 80% and 90% (V80 and V90) air movement acceptability inside these buildings. Field experiments were performed during hot and cool seasons when 2075 questionnaires were filled for the subjects while simultaneous microclimatic observations were made with laboratory precision. Main results indicated that the minimal air velocity required were at least 0.4 m/s for 26°C reaching 0.9 m/s for operative temperatures up to 30°C. Subjects are not only preferring more air speed but also demanding air velocities closer or higher than 0.8 m/s ASHRAE limit. This dispels the notion of draft in hot humid climates and reinforce the broader theory of alliesthesia and the physiological role of pleasure due to air movement increment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)222-229
Number of pages8
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume45
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2010
Externally publishedYes

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Keywords

  • air movement acceptability
  • air velocity
  • natural ventilation
  • thermal comfort
  • hot humid climate

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