PurposeThe ever-increasing demand and consumption of energy and the effects of global warming with its long-term comrade, climate change, is obvious today than ever before. In today’s world, naturally-ventilated buildings hardly provide the satisfaction that occupants need and wish for. It’s on this backdrop that the study aims to investigate how responsive buildings on the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana campus are to its warm humid climate and assess students thermal comfort levels.Design/methodology/approachQuantitative approach was adopted for the study. Empirical investigation was carried out using the survey approach. In total, 14 buildings (offices, classrooms and halls of residences) were assessed using the Mahoney Tables. Again, subjective thermal perceptions of occupants in the halls of residences was sought. A total of 214 valid questionnaires were used for the analysis.FindingsAdaptive principles like the Mahoney Tables are not followed in recent years. Even where these principles have been followed, indoor spaces were still found to be uncomfortable. In total, 58 per cent of the occupants in all the three halls of residence voted in the comfort band: an indication unacceptable sensations. Warm sensation votes (44 per cent) was more than cool sensation votes (29 per cent). In warm sensation, 39 per cent of the subjects preferred cooler environment. The occupants felt that opening windows and the use of fans could keep them comfortable. Moreover, 48 per cent of the subjects voted that their fans and windows were effective.Originality/valueThe papers contribution to the body of knowledge is the provision of empirical evidence in the field of adaptive designs and thermal comfort. There is a strong indication from the results that human activities in terms of blatant disregard for laid down design principles coupled with the worsening situation of global warming is making interior spaces ever uncomfortable.
Journal of Engineering, Design and Technology – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 10, 2019
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