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Effects of indoor humidity on building occupants' thermal comfort and evidence in terms of climate adaptation

Kong, K; Liu, H; Wu, Y; Li, B; Wei, S; Yuan, M; (2019) Effects of indoor humidity on building occupants' thermal comfort and evidence in terms of climate adaptation. Building and Environment , 155 pp. 298-307. 10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.02.039. Green open access

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Abstract

Similar as temperature, air humidity may affect people's thermal comfort and humidity adaptation may happen when people changing their living conditions. To provide evidence on both effect from humidity on people's thermal comfort and their humidity adaptation, a comparative study has been conducted in a controlled climate chamber. During the experiment, the air temperature was set as 25 °C and 28 °C respectively and the relative humidity was changing between 20% and 90%. There were twenty four participants involved in this experiment, with half living in High Humidity (HH) regions of China, such as Chongqing, for over 20 years, and another half recently moved to Chongqing from Low Humidity (LH) regions in northwestern China. During the experiment, mean skin temperature was measured as objective an important parameter and subjective questionnaires were used to subjectively collect people's sensations with respect to heat, humidity and sweating. The data collected demonstrated that people living in HH regions showed a better adaptive ability to humidity changes than those came from LH regions. Climate adaptation also reduced the sensitivity of HH subjects' thermal responses. When air humidity was over 70%, subjects started to show stronger thermal responses. Based on these results, an upper limit of humidity of 17 g/kg has been proposed for Chongqing, China. The results from this study will help to broaden the adaptive thermal comfort theory and can provide important references regarding to humidity control for buildings.

Type: Article
Title: Effects of indoor humidity on building occupants' thermal comfort and evidence in terms of climate adaptation
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.02.039
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.02.039
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Air humidity, Climate adaptation, Humidity responses, Thermal sensitivity, Humidity limits
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10070209
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