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Title: The impact of increasing temperatures in transition zones in Abu Dhabi on thermal comfort and energy demand
Author: Kansara, H. P. T.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7659 4706
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2016
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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.
Supervisor: Ruyssevelt, P. ; Oreszczyn, T. ; Ridley, I. ; Cabannes, Y. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available