Thermal performance of school buildings: Impacts beyond thermal comfort

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Su, Bin
Jadresin-Milic, Renata
McPherson, Peter
Wu, Lian
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Journal Article
Ngā Upoko Tukutuku (Māori subject headings)
Auckland (N.Z.)
New Zealand
school buildings
building thermal performance
indoor health condition
indoor thermal comfort
school building envelope
indirect health effects
occupant health
ANZSRC Field of Research Code (2020)
Su, B., Jadresin Milic, R J., McPherson, P., & Wu, L. (2022). Thermal performance of school buildings: Impacts beyond thermal comfort. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 19(10), 5811. doi:10.3390/ijerph19105811
Based on field study data regarding the winter indoor thermal environment of three classrooms with different building envelopes, this study compared and evaluated these environments, not only related to students' thermal comfort but also to their health. The inadequacy of the conventional New Zealand school building for maintaining a comfortable and healthy winter indoor thermal environment has been identified. A classroom with thermal mass had 31%, 34% and 9% more time than a classroom without thermal mass when indoor temperatures met 16 °C 18 °C and 20 °C respectively and has 21.4% more time than the classroom without thermal mass when indoor relative humidity was in the optimal range of 40% to 60%, in a temperate climate with a mild and humid winter. Adding thermal mass to school building envelopes should be considered as a strategy to improve the winter indoor thermal environment in future school design and development. Adding thermal mass to a school building with sufficient insulation can not only increase winter indoor mean air temperature but can also reduce the fluctuation of indoor air temperatures. This can significantly reduce the incidence of very low indoor temperature and very high indoor relative humidity, and significantly improve the indoor thermal environment.
MDPI (Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute)
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