Macquarie University
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Indoor air movement acceptability and thermal comfort in hot-humid climates

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posted on 2022-03-28, 17:42 authored by Christhina Maria Cândido
Much has been done in order to understand when air movement enhancement is unwelcome. Traditionally, air velocity has been framed in terms of maximum permissible limits in order to avoid occupants' complaints due to 'draft'. Numerous authors have proposed a variety of maximum acceptable indoor air velocity, ranging from 0.5 to 2.5m/s, and 0.8m/s has been deemed as maximum allowable air velocity by ASHRAE 55-2004. In hot humid climates, however, it is likely that higher air velocity values would be preferred by occupants. This project aims to understand the relevance and applicability of maximum air velocity limits, focusing on occupant's thermal comfort, preference and acceptability, within naturally ventilated buildings. The methodological approach focuses on field research design, based on the proximity, in time and space, of the indoor climate observations with corresponding comfort questionnaire responses from the occupants. The two field experiment campaigns took place in naturally ventilated buildings in Maceio, located at the north-east hot-humid zone of Brazil, during the cool (Aug/Sep) and also hot seasons (Feb/Mar), resulting in 2075 questionnaires. Air movement was investigated based on two goals for acceptability: 80 and 90%. Minimal air velocities values obtained based on this analysis were close to, or above 0.8m/s, which is currently mandated as the maximum air velocity for ASHRAE 55-2004. Findings also indicated occupant's rising comfort expectations; resulting from constant air-conditioning exposure, militate against the implementation of adaptive comfort principles in bioclimatic buildings. Findings also indicated that air movement definitely assumes a major significance in terms of preference and acceptance of the indoor thermal environment and thermal acceptability alone was not enough to satisfy occupants. Combining thermal and air movement acceptability is the key challenge that must be faced in these indoor environments. Based on these results, this project suggested a set of guidelines for a Brazilian standard for naturally ventilated buildings, considering air movement enhancement as a welcome breeze in hot-humid climates.


Table of Contents

I. Introduction -- II. Background -- III. Method -- IV. Results and Discussion -- V. Conlusions.


Sydney, September 2010 Bibliography: p. 30-31; 63-62; 85-86; 137

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis PhD


Thesis (PhD), Macquarie University, Dept. of Environment and Geography

Department, Centre or School

Department of Environment and Geography

Principal Supervisor

Richard de Dear

Additional Supervisor 1

Paul Beggs


Copyright Christhina Maria Cândido 2010. Copyright disclaimer:






1 online resource (218 p., bound) ill. (some col.), map

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