International Journal of Biometeorology

, Volume 60, Issue 3, pp 319–334 | Cite as

Evaluation of thermal perception in schoolyards under Mediterranean climate conditions

  • D. Antoniadis
  • N. Katsoulas
  • D. Papanastasiou
  • V. Christidou
  • C. KittasEmail author
Original Paper


The aim of this paper was to study qualitatively and quantitatively the thermal perception and corresponding heat stress conditions that prevail in two schoolyards in a coastal city in central Greece. For this purpose, meteorological parameters (i.e., wind speed, temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation) were recorded at 70 and 55 measuring points in the schoolyards, from 14:00 to 15:30 local time, during May and June of 2011. The measuring points were distributed so as to get measurements at points (a) directly exposed to the sun, (b) under the shadow of trees and building structures, and (c) near building structures. Cluster analysis was applied to group observations and revealed places that are microclimatically homogeneous. Thermal perception and heat stress conditions were assessed by means of the physiologically equivalent temperature (PET, °C), and the results are presented in relevant charts. The impact of material’s albedo, radiation’s reflection by structures and obstacles, and different tree species on thermal perception and heat stress conditions was also assessed. The analysis showed that trees triggered a reduction of incident solar radiation that ranged between 79 and 94 % depending on tree’s species, crown dimension, tree height, and leaf area. PET values were mainly affected by solar radiation and wind speed. Trees caused a reduction of up to 37 % in PET values, while a 1-m s−1 increase in wind speed triggered a reduction of 3.7–5.0 °C in PET value. The effective shading area in the two schoolyards was small, being 27.5 and 11 %. The results of this study could be exploited by urban planning managers when designing or improving the outdoor environment of a school complex.


PET (physiologically equivalent temperature) Solar radiation Shading Cluster analysis Mediterranean climate 



This work was funded by the Research Committee of the University of Thessaly under the project entitled “Contribution of rational landscape design to the improvement of bioclimatic parameters of school grounds and their utilization as a learning spaces” (Grant Code 4090.03).

We appreciate also the helpful comments of two anonymous reviewers.


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Copyright information

© ISB 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. Antoniadis
    • 1
  • N. Katsoulas
    • 1
  • D. Papanastasiou
    • 2
  • V. Christidou
    • 3
  • C. Kittas
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Department of Agriculture Crop Production and Rural EnvironmentUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece
  2. 2.Centre for Research and Technology HellasInstitute for Research and Technology of ThessalyVolosGreece
  3. 3.Department of Preschool EducationUniversity of ThessalyVolosGreece

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