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Adaptive thermal comfort in the residential buildings of north east India—An effect of difference in elevation

Abstract

Thermal comfort standards are required not only to ensure good indoor climatic condition, but also to optimize the energy used in a building for heating or cooling purposes. Generally, Fanger’s Predicted Mean Vote–Predicted Percentage Dissatisfied (PMV–PPD) model is used by designers and architects to estimate the comfort condition and hence the setpoint temperature inside a building. However, the recent field survey based studies on adaptive thermal comfort suggests that the above used PMV model frequently either underestimates or overestimates the thermal sensation due to the non-inclusion of the adaptive opportunities that a subject may have in maintaining comfortable condition. This leads to often an estimation of higher or lower setpoint temperature than that actually required for maintaining comfort, thereby consuming higher energy. The aim of the research is to study the effect of difference in elevation which is a major factor for temperature difference in hilly terrain, on the thermal comfort of residents. We conducted a field survey in 6 residential buildings at two different elevations in the Darjeeling Himalayan Region of north east India. A total of 1017 questionnaires regarding the indoor occupant thermal comfort were collected from 46 subjects during the monthly survey held in the year 2015. Variations in clothing insulation and other thermal comfort parameters were seen both with difference in elevation and with outdoor environmental conditions.

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Acknowledgements

We would like to express our deep gratitude and sincere thanks to Mahesh Bundele, Coordinator, Research, Poornima University, Jaipur for his guidance during review of research papers, Madhavi Indraganti, Professor, Qatar University, who emailed and generously sent the research papers, Jyotirmay Mathur, MNIT, Jaipur and R.K. Singh, Durban University for their valuable suggestions, and Bedika Rai, Salesian College, Darjeeling for her help during the language check and editing of the paper. We also thank all the 46 subjects for giving the valuable responses out of their busy schedule

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Correspondence to Samar Thapa.

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Thapa, S., Bansal, A.K. & Panda, G.K. Adaptive thermal comfort in the residential buildings of north east India—An effect of difference in elevation. Build. Simul. 11, 245–267 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12273-017-0404-x

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Keywords

  • elevation
  • predicted mean vote
  • thermal sensation vote Griffiths’ neutral temperature