Evaluating thermal comfort and building climatic response in warm-humid climates for vernacular dwellings in Suggenhalli (India)

Vivek Shastry, Monto Mani, Rosangela Tenorio

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Vernacular dwellings are well-suited passive climate-responsive designs based on local materials and skills to support comfortable indoor environments. These naturally ventilated (NV) dwellings have supported and sustained civilizations even in extreme climates. The design and physiological resilience of the inhabitants have coevolved to be attuned to prevalent climatic and environmental conditions. Such adaptations have perplexed modern theories in human thermal comfort that have evolved in the era of air-conditioned buildings. The paper investigates climatic response and thermal comfort in NV vernacular dwellings in Suggenahalli, a village near Bangalore (India), set in a warm-humid climate. The study includes real-time thermal performance monitoring of a typical courtyard dwelling and includes a thermal sensation survey comprising a fifth of the village inhabitants. Two popular models have been evaluated, namely Fanger's predicted mean vote (PMV) and Humphreys adaptive thermal comfort. Ascertaining the PMV requires repeated inquiry and measurements which was unappealing to the rural community, with the responses turning out to be casual and indifferent. A methodology, termed aggregated PMV, was thus evolved and tested to ascertain the thermal responses. Furthermore, conventional PMV assessments overestimated the thermal responses for winter despite application of the expectancy factor. Humphreys neutral comfort assessments also were in parallax with observed neutral temperatures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)12-26
Number of pages15
JournalArchitectural Science Review
Volume59
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

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