Investigating the influence of design parameters on the indoor environmental quality and thermal comfort in primary schools in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam

Le, Thi Ho Vi (2020) Investigating the influence of design parameters on the indoor environmental quality and thermal comfort in primary schools in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Indoor environmental quality significantly impacts on comfort levels which affect students’ performance and productivity. Currently in Vietnam, very few studies have dealt with the issue, and the current trend is to install energy-intensive air-conditioning in primary schools as this is perceived as more comfortable. In this study, indoor comfort and users’ perceptions were investigated in three primary schools in Ho Chi Minh City during the mid-season (September 2015), the hottest season (April 2016) and the coldest season (December 2016 – January 2017) to provide a good overview. In-situ spot and long-term measurements were recorded. Questionnaires were completed by 4411 children (age range from 8 to 11 years) and 116 teachers to inform the study about their experiences and the extent of their interaction with the buildings in 124 classrooms. The results were analysed by correlating the conditions measured and the comfort votes on a seven-point scale.

In free-running schools, more than 90% of children were satisfied with the overall indoor conditions, although the classrooms were found to be out of thermal comfort for more than 20% of the school time. Furthermore, the classrooms were usually in noisy and dim conditions. The conflicting between the quantitative and qualitative results shows that the current standards are not reflecting the current expectation in the free running classrooms. In the air- conditioned classrooms, the CO2 concentration levels were over 2000ppm and affected children’s alertness.

The calculated neutral temperature in the free running classrooms was 31.3oC with the relative humidity of 60% to 70% and the average air velocity of 0.56m/s; and the benchmark for overheating calculations was suggested at 33oC. The adjusted neutral temperature with a normal airspeed was 29.4oC. In this study, the adaptive thermal comfort model for Vietnamese children in primary schools was proposed. The thermal comfort criteria of design parameters for renovation projects and new-built buildings were recommended through parametric and optimisation studies.

The findings suggested that air conditioning all year round may be unnecessary from a comfort perspective. These findings could help and encourage architects and engineers to design and deliver schools that provide thermal comfort and minimise the use of air conditioning systems. The results of this work could inform design standards to deliver high quality, low-energy indoor environmental classrooms in primary schools in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Gillott, Mark
Rodrigues, Lucelia Taranto
Keywords: Indoor environmental quality, Thermal comfort, Children, Primary school, Vietnam.
Subjects: T Technology > TH Building construction > TH7005 Heating and ventilation. Air conditioning
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering
UK Campuses > Faculty of Engineering > Built Environment
Item ID: 60901
Depositing User: Le, Thi
Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2020 09:25
Last Modified: 10 Sep 2020 09:25

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