Strategies for thermal comfort in university buildings - The case of the faculty of architecture at the Federal University of Bahia, Brazil.

Affiliation

Universidade Federal da Bahia, Escola Politécnica, Programa de Engenharia Industrial, Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. Electronic address: [Email]

Abstract

Buildings constructed according to bioclimatic architectural principles in amenable climates have often experienced posterior interventions that have closed ventilation openings for the installation of air conditioning units. The present work sought to investigate the reasons for installing air conditioning equipment in buildings even under adverse economic conditions and with the awareness of their negative environmental implications. The Faculty of Architecture building at the Federal University of Bahia, located in the city of Salvador, Bahia State, Brazil, was the focus of the present investigation. It was determined that the lack of maintenance of the windows and window frames, and the closing of projected openings compromised natural ventilation. The study confirmed the adequacy of the architectural project in relation to the local climate, and in loco measurements likewise confirmed the efficiency of natural ventilation through the windows and other openings in the faculty room and classrooms examined. The results of the interviews concerning thermal comfort indicated that 53% of the users felt comfortable. Nonetheless, it was found that the building's windows and window frames were poorly maintained, compromising their ability to facilitate efficient natural ventilation and significantly diminishing the capacity for thermal regulation in the building. This study calls attention to the necessity of refining and improving the maintenance of university buildings to reduce the intensive use of artificial air conditioning in detriment to investments in projects that could lend priority to natural ventilation and the maintenance of good window operating conditions.

Keywords

Bioclimatic architecture,Energy efficiency,Natural ventilation,Sustainability,

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