Inderscience Publishers

Thermal comfort study of air-conditioned university laboratories

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Courtesy of Inderscience Publishers

In tertiary education institutions, good indoor air quality (IAQ) provides a conducive environment for teaching and learning activities. A field study on the environmental conditions and occupants’ comfort was carried out in six laboratories at Universiti Sains Malaysia. The study evaluates the current thermal comfort conditions using objective measurement and subjective assessment. The measured environment parameters were air dry-bulb temperature, relative humidity and air velocity. The subjective assessment concerned the judgement of the respondents about the thermal environment at the moment of measurement. The results obtained showed that the mean air dry-bulb temperatures recorded in the six laboratories are ranged between 22.7°C and 24.4°C. The range is within the recommended range based on the Code of Practice on Indoor Air Quality (2010). The measured air velocity and relative humidity (RH) were within the limits of thermal comfort standards. Based on the occupants’ perception of thermal sensation, RH and air movement, generally more than 70% of the respondents were satisfied with the existing conditions in the laboratories. The overall comfort vote and predicted mean vote (PMV) index found the occupants to be in the range of ‘0’ (neutral) and ‘+1’ (comfortable).

Keywords: thermal comfort, laboratory, temperature, relative humidity, air velocity, predicted mean vote, PMV index, predicted percentage dissatisfied index, PPD index

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