Thermal comfort in the humid tropics

field experiments in air conditioned and naturally ventilated buildings in Singapore

R. J. de Dear*, K. G. Leow, S. C. Foo

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    152 Citations (Scopus)


    Thermal comfort field experiments were conducted in Singapore in both naturally ventilated highrise residential buildings and air conditioned office buildings. Each of the 818 questionnaire responses was made simultaneously with a detailed set of indoor climatic measurements, and estimates of clothing insulation and metabolic rate. Results for the air conditioned sample indicated that office buildings were overcooled, causing up to one-third of their occupants to experience cool thermal comfort sensations. These observations in air conditioned buildings were broadly consistent with the ISO, ASHRAE and Singapore indoor climatic standards. Indoor climates of the naturally ventilated apartments during the day and early evening were on average three degrees warmer than the ISO comfort standard prescriptions, but caused much less thermal discomfort than expected. Discrepancies between thermal comfort responses in apartment blocks and office buildings are discussed in terms of contemporary perceptual theory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)259-265
    Number of pages7
    JournalInternational Journal of Biometeorology
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 1991


    • Energy conservation
    • Field study
    • Indoor climate
    • Perceptual theory
    • Thermal comfort

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