Classroom Façade Design for Daylighting in a Tropical Hot-humid Climate

Supansomboon, S ORCID: 0000-0003-4219-9823
(2019) Classroom Façade Design for Daylighting in a Tropical Hot-humid Climate. Master of Philosophy thesis, University of Liverpool.

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Previous studies have confirmed that the learning performance of school students can improve when good levels of daylight are available in classrooms. In tropical climates, it might be difficult to utilise and control natural light due to its high levels. Various activities in classrooms, such as taking notes and viewing screens and whiteboard, can also become difficult. Consequently, daylight in tropical classrooms may be less welcome and utilised less frequently. In order to deal with natural light utilisation, building facade is one of significant architectural design elements influencing energy consumption and human comfort. This study aims to investigate classroom facade designs that attempt to optimise visual and thermal comfort while reducing energy consumption. Focusing on facade appearance, daylighting systems and occupants’ behaviour, there are three stages of study using occupants and classrooms in the Faculty of Architecture, Urban Design and Creative Arts, Mahasarakham University, Thailand as the case study. The research commenced the first stage with finding the actual problems of daylight utilisation in tropical classrooms in terms of room form, brightness levels, and users’ behaviours and attitudes. In order to study brightness pattern and human sensation several survey methods: illumination measurements, observations, questionnaires and interviews; were applied. In the second stage, computer simulation was undertaken in order to analyse the problems and suggest solutions using DesignBuilder package. The suggestions were verified in the last stage by surveying occupants’ satisfaction comparing the modified classroom to the existing classrooms. The measurements and surveys demonstrated availability of the daylight and positive attitude in using natural light of the occupants whereas façade and systems are not appropriated for applying natural light: provided insufficient daylight level and allowed occurrence of glare. Daylight environment appeared to proper for general visual tasks while more control was required for using projector. The simulation result showed the significance of window area, shading device and window orientation respectively. The use of two opposite fully glazed walls with shading depth of 50% of optimised device is recommended for all orientations. The suggested size of shading device usually allowed penetration of the sun into the classroom. The influence of direct sun which theoretically could be a serious problem was confirmed acceptable by occupants. It implies that direct sunlight can rather be a daylighting opportunity if correct shading design is applied. A limitation of this research is that, although the DesignBuilder package can facilitate study in both daylighting and thermal aspects, its daylighting analysis function has limit capacity for light reflected strategies. Results of this research are recommendations of facade characteristics and their operation systems which are suitable for the case study. The visually environmental improvement of one specific building which can be adapted for general classrooms and other types of low maintenance buildings. Moreover, research findings can be extended to be public guidelines for designers in their approach to sustainability.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Philosophy)
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > School of the Arts
Depositing User: Symplectic Admin
Date Deposited: 12 Jul 2019 11:03
Last Modified: 19 Jan 2023 00:40
DOI: 10.17638/03044831