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The impact of increasing temperatures in transition zones in Abu Dhabi on thermal comfort and energy demand

Kansara, HPT; (2016) The impact of increasing temperatures in transition zones in Abu Dhabi on thermal comfort and energy demand. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London).

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Abstract

The application of western comfort standards to buildings in the Arabian Gulf has resulted in mass-use air-conditioning. Buildings are cooled to temperatures that are excessive compared to historic expectations in Abu Dhabi. This thesis raises the question of whether these thermal conditions are appropriate. If not, is there scope for adjustment of indoor standards to reduce energy use whilst retaining thermally satisfied occupants. The thesis investigates the entrance lobby, a form of transitional zone. Transitional zones are communal spaces that include areas where occupants would typically transition through and are characterised by their location in bridging the indoor and outdoor environment; their occupancy time and use; their volume as a percentage of the whole building; architectural/engineering features and, for the purpose of this section, the methods used to analyse their thermal comfort. They are cooled identically to occupied zones (also known as steady-states) that provide occupants with a bridge between external and internal environments. If transitional zones have different comfort conditions to steady state environments, they may allow occupants to acclimatize before reaching their destination inside the building. Occupant evaluation of indoor comfort may provide insights for Abu Dhabi’s challenge to reduce energy demand. In 2012, twenty, existing, mixed-use case study buildings were tested to trial an increase in temperature of the entrance-lobby using a 1ºC intervention. Quantitative and qualitative data were measured alongside occupant feedback. The results were compared to a base case taken the year before. The thesis results of the intervention show there are some changes in buildings that can be associated to the intervention of broadening of thermal comfort parameters in transitional zones. A change in the temperature setpoint may lead to a reduction in cooling without a negative impact on occupant satisfaction. A dynamic simulation was conducted to verify these findings. This resulted in an energy saving averaging 0.62% per 1ºC reduction of cooling for the whole building. The finds are valuable to countries like the UAE where there is a drive to reduce domestic energy use and diversify the economy away from oil.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: The impact of increasing temperatures in transition zones in Abu Dhabi on thermal comfort and energy demand
Event: UCL
Language: English
Keywords: Thermal Comfort, Occupant Satisfaction, Energy, Abu Dhabi
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Bartlett School Env, Energy and Resources
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of the Built Environment > Development Planning Unit
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1482197
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