Enhancing indoor air movement through roof design: a process of increasing thermal comfort in hot humid region housing

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Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Insignificant diurnal variations make the reliance on thermal inertia to ameliorate the thermal discomfort in the hot humid region impossible. Natural ventilation, therefore, is not only important, but the velocity of air that gets into the living area is crucial. Various ways of creating negative pressure (a process of increasing the interior air speed) are examined. The performance of roof types with different horizontal openings in enhancing interior air movement was investigated in an open throat wind tunnel. The results indicate a significant difference in the interior air velocity with roof type A opening type 1 (see fig. 27 and fig. 28).

The thesis explores other ways of creating climate adapted architecture in providing acceptable comfort level in the hot humid climate. Warm humid climates are defined, and data for one example (Lagos, Nigeria) are analysed. Comfort zones are established relative to the region being investigated and the methods of limiting interior heat gain are described. The effects of orientation, cross ventilation and material choice are discussed.