Occupants’ Utilization of Natural Ventilation: A Study of Selected Terrace House Designs in Hot-humid Climate
With increased time spent indoors and demand for enhanced comfort levels, energy consumption in homes is rising mostly for cooling, particularly in hot-humid regions. Natural ventilation is seen as an alternative to mechanical cooling as it is totally independent on energy and has been reported to be of high potential. However, little information is available on the utilization of natural ventilation in individual living spaces in different house designs. Therefore, this paper aims to investigate occupants’ utilization of natural ventilation in living spaces under different terrace house designs in hot-humid climate and also the relationship between the openings and occupants’ satisfaction with natural ventilation. Five (5) different terrace house types in Putrajaya, Malaysia with different opening design characteristics were selected for the study. A total of 298 households from these house types were surveyed and results show that occupants mostly open their windows during the daytime to capture breeze from outside despite the fact that they owned air-conditioners. In terms of occupants’ level of satisfaction with indoor ventilation when utilizing natural ventilation, majority rated neither satisfied nor unsatisfied. Further regression analysis reveals that this level of satisfaction is significantly related to opening sizes that are in accordance with the law, duration of opening windows and AC ownership. Findings from this study will shed more light on behavioural pattern of occupants of residential buildings towards natural ventilation provisions and highlight the importance of conforming to the law governing them.
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