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Title: Thermal comfort prediction, conditions and air quality for younger and older children in Kuwait schools
Authors: Al-Rashidi, Khaled E.
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: © Khaled E. Al-Rashidi
Abstract: The thesis presents the field and laboratory work conducted to investigate the applicability of different thermal comfort indices and equations to assess the thermal sensation of very young children (6-10 years) and older children (11-17 years) in Kuwait classrooms under different ventilation modes (hybrid, natural and air-conditioned), in addition to investigating the quality of the air inside the classrooms. Few thermal comfort and indoor air quality studies have been conducted to determine the thermal comfort and indoor air quality situation inside the classrooms (especially where the young children are presents) in comparison to that for adults in other building environments such as offices or vehicles. The aim of this thesis was to provide baseline data and expand the knowledge for young children s thermal comfort (as well as older children) and the effects of the indoor air quality inside classrooms on them throughout different ventilation modes (hybrid, natural and air-conditioned). The work was achieved by conducting both laboratory and field experiments, as follows: Laboratory tests were conducted to measure the insulation value of the different schoolwear ensembles used in Kuwait classrooms. Three methods were used to indicate and compare the thermal insulation values of different schoolwear ensembles worn by girls and boys in Kuwait classrooms during summer and winter seasons. Results suggest that the clothing insulation values found from the measured and adapted data were similar to the adult s data in standards tables for the same summer and winter seasons ensembles. In addition, the temperature ratings of the clothing are close to, and in agreement with, the scholars comfort temperature. A new thermal comfort questionnaire has been designed for gathering thermal sensation and reflected data from younger children. The questionnaire has been designed employing learning and educational techniques for very young people, and was statistically tested against the standard questionnaire and with old age groups to ensure no bias was introduced. The results show that the new designed thermal comfort questionnaire can help children to assess their sensation in a better manner than that of the standard questionnaire, and that it can be considered as a new subjective assessment tool that can support the thermal comfort standard by investigating the thermal comfort sensations of younger children age groups. A large scale field study was then conducted to investigate the applicability of different thermal comfort indices for Kuwait classrooms along the academic year and under different ventilation modes to assess the thermal sensations for younger (6-10 years) and older (11-17 years) students age group during the school day. The newly designed thermal comfort questionnaire and the clothing insulation values mentioned previously were used to collect the subjects responses for comparison with a range of thermal comfort indices (PMV, ePMV, PMV10 and adaptive, and various comfort equations). Results show that no difference in the neutral temperature between both age groups during the different ventilation modes and the PMV model is the most appropriate model to predict the thermal sensations of the younger subjects during the different ventilation modes, including the natural ventilation mode, since Kuwait classrooms largely considered as air-conditioned spaces. This work provides knowledge of thermal comfort and comfort conditions in Kuwait classrooms. The final part of the field study was conducted to investigate the adequacy of the ventilation rates during naturally and air-conditioned ventilation modes inside 10 elementary classrooms in Kuwait occupied by 6-10 year old children by measuring the CO2 concentration levels inside these classrooms. The findings showed that naturally ventilated classrooms have lower average CO2 concentration levels (708 ppm) than air-conditioned classrooms (1596 ppm). The main reason for the high CO2 concentration in air-conditioned classrooms is attributed to the possibly inappropriate selection of ventilation system type (wall-mounted split units) inside the classrooms. This type of ventilation system cools recirculated room air provides no outside air (fresh air), which is may not be appreciated for high occupancy zones like classrooms. Suitable means for fresh air provision must be made for this mode of operation. Some remedial solutions are theoretically suggested to reduce the high CO2 levels in air-conditioned classrooms which may enhance the students and staffs performance. The latter data on CO2 levels being above recommended values have been communicated to Kuwaiti government.
Description: A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/9456
Appears in Collections:PhD Theses (Civil and Building Engineering)

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