Passive Design for Residential Buildings and Thermal Comfort in South China

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1 Passive Design for Residential Buildings and Thermal Comfort in South China RUNMING YAO The Martin Centre for Architectural and Urban Studies, Department of Architecture University of Cambridge, UK, BAIZHAN LI Battle McCarthy Consulting Engineers & Landscape Architects, Dog and Duck Yard, Princeton Street, London WC1R 4BH, UK YUJING KANG Guangzhou Design Institute of Residential Architecture 17F No.318 Dongfeng Zhong Road Jia Ye Mansion, P. R. China Abstract With the rapid growth of the Chinese economy, increased efficiency of energy use in China is an important element of a strategy to achieve sustainable development. This paper introduced the housing development and thermal conditions in existing residential buildings in south China. Computer simulation for the passive design solutions has been carried out by using Thermal Resistance method. The results demonstrated that passive design for low energy residential building in China should be taken into account by architects in the early design stage. Conference Topic: design strategies Keywords: Sustainable housing development, Passive Design, Thermal Comfort, Energy Saving, computer simulation. INTRODUCTION China has a population of more than 1.2 billion or onequarter of the world's population. In order to improve the people's living situation, the housing construction industry is playing a leading role. The construction industry is giving a considerable stimulation on national economic. From 1979 to 1997, the total housing areas was 15 billion square meter, in which 3.15 billion square meters was in urban areas. The investment in housing construction is about 8% GDP. Fig. 1 is the statistics of urban house investment over last twenty years. Over the period between China has built 240 million square metres of housing every year in urban areas and more than twice that amount in the countryside and rural towns. It is planned that over the period between 2000 to 2010, the housing area will be 330 million square metres each year. Home construction input will then constitute 13% of the country's total fixed investment[1]. The rapid economic growth that has taken place in the region has led to the demand for a better standard of living and higher levels of thermal comfort within houses. People tend to purchase more electrical appliances for cooling in summer. There is therefore an increasing demand for air conditioning in residential buildings and Fig. 1 Urban house investment in China (source:national Bureau of Statistics 1998) consequently for electrical power. Fig. 2 shows that the air-conditioner production has increased over ten times ( between 1992 to 1997) [2]. The demand still increase in recent years. The growing desire for improved thermal 673

2 C. The indoor temperature in buildings without airconditioner is often over 30 o C during the day and also night in summer. People find the heat and humidity oppressive, even with the fan operating continuously. Building Climate Zone [5], a building code for building construction, reflected the relationship between the building and climate. Table 1 shows the Building Climate Zone. The climate characteristics of Zone III and IV, geographically along the Yangtse River and south coast, usually have higher temperature and humidity with strong solar radiation. The housing in this zone usually need to consider the influence of solar radiation. So the shading of the window, building s optimum orientation and natural ventilation were always important. Fig.2 Room air conditioner out put in China comfort using room air-conditioner has resulted in an increased demand on the electrical supply system. This consequently will increase CO 2 emissions. The energy consumption of China is 7.45% of that of the world, but the amount of CO 2 emissions amount to 10.14% of that of the world[3]. Passive design options like optimum building orientation, glazing, better use of daylight and natural ventilation, etc, have won wide acceptance among architects, clients, developers and users. Well passive designed building can create internal conditions that occupants find more pleasant than those found in some airconditioning buildings. When air conditioning is considered due to the climate, passive design can reduce the air conditioning loads and hence energy consumption and cost. CLIMATE AND THERMAL COMFORT The climate of China is extremely diverse and variable with a tropical climate in the south and sub-arctic in the north. Thermal comfort as defined by ASHRAE Standard [6], is as the condition of mind that expresses satisfaction with the thermal environment. Fanger's comfort model uses Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) and Percentage People Dissatisfied (PPD) [6]. The calculation of PMV involves four environmental parameters, namely air temperature, velocity, humidity and mean radiant temperature and two personal factors (clothing and activity levels). China does not have a thermal comfort standard for building design. The ISO-DIS7730 PPD-PMV index Standard is used for the buildings with air-conditioning system accordingly. According to the ISO-DIS7730, the thermal comfort should be of PPD <10% for PMV=±0.5[7].The results of field studies on thermal comfort in many countries show that different groups of people were comfortable at different temperatures, and that people are tolerant of diurnal and seasonal variations of room temperatures in naturally ventilated buildings[8]. The exaggerate the energy using accordingly happened due to the ISO-DIS7730 standard implicated in building design. Especially this standard is not suitable for the residential buildings in China. The project on "Thermal Comfort for Residential Building in China" suggested residential Table 1 Climate Zone for the Building Design in China Climate Cold Prevent Frozen Water Prevent Hot Prevent Climate Description Zones Prevent I *** *** - /* Long winter, windy, short summer and cool II ** ** * Long winter, dry cold, hot and wet summer III * * *** *** Summer humid hot, winter wet cold, lots rain IV - - ** *** Burn hot summer, warm humid winter V *** - *** - Wet cold winter, cool summer VI *** *** - Dry cold winter, low temperature all year VII *** *** ** Long cold winter, dry hot summer Note: *** completely consider ** mostly consider * partly consider - no consider However, in summer it is very hot in the most parts of China. In south China, the average maximum temperature is about C in July; there are about days annually when the daily average temperature is higher than buildings in China should not exceed a Predicted Mean Vote of between plus and minus 1.5, which is equivalent to a PPD (Predicted Percentage Dissatisfied) of less than 50%[9]. The survey by the research project Improving

3 indoor environment for residential building in Chongqing revealed that people feel fairly comfortable with the internal air temperature of 27 o C - 28 o C in hot summer days[10]. PASSIVE DESIGN For residential building in south China, indoor thermal comfort and energy efficiency are the most important issues which architects and engineers should work together to take into account, because they do not have central air conditioning in summer or heating in winter. Room air conditioner and heat appliances can only afforded by high income family thus indoor thermal environment is not ideal in such kinds of building in consequent effects on ventilation and daylight. Fig.3 is the calculation of hourly solar radiation falling on the horizontal and vertical surfaces in Guangzhou, southern coastal city in China. So we suggest the best orientation will be south-north. The east-west facing windows should be reduced or avoided as could as possible. The construction of residential buildings in this area were mostly reinforced concrete with cement render. The thickness of the wall is 240mm with the U value of 2.0 W/m 2 o C. Windows were single glazing with metal framed with U value of 4.8 to 6.4 W/m 2 o C. Thermal simulation for the annual cooling energy consumption was carried out by summer and winter unless it is passively designed. Building Orientation /Window System Choosing the optimum orientation to maximise daylight and to minmise summer heat gain and winter heater heat loss can have a significant impact on energy efficiency, particularly if it avoids or minimises air conditioning. In south China, prevention of overheating in summer is the major task for improving internal thermal climate. The solar radiation is the main factor that causes the overheating risk. The amount and type of the glazing are key factors in the effective control of heat gains to the building with using Thermal Resistance Method for the building in Guangzhou. Fig. 4 shows the annual cooling energy consumption for such kind of building with different orientations. From the diagram we can see that by the increase of glazing ration of windows the cooling energy will increase accordingly. Shading devices Solar radiation through window glass causes large increase in the cooling energy in the building. Shading devices are very important for the building in south China. Most buildings have the overhang or using balcony as the sun shading. Fig. 5 shows the different type of shading device influences the cooling energy. External louvers are the most effective shading device, especially when it is shut. Curtain is the effective and economic shading device. 675

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5 Natural Ventilation The use of natural ventilation instead of, or assisted by mechanical ventilation and cooling, and the adoption of passive solar heating/cooling concepts have won wide acceptance among designers, clients, developers and users. Well designed natural ventilated and daylit buildings can create internal conditions that occupants find more pleasant than those found in some air conditioned buildings[8]. Ventilation helps to limit the temperature rise in a space. Cooling by ventilation in summer is a common method of improving indoor thermal climate for residential buildings in China. Most families still use ceiling fan or table fan for cooling themselves. The simulation for the effect of ventilation on internal air temperature was carried out by using TR method (see Fig.6) From the results we can see that the summer ventilation with 12 air change rate per hour can significantly reduce the internal air temperature. The peak air temperature could be dropped by 5 o C. Buried pipe earth cooling ventilation Natural ventilation can be a low energy design to reduce building cooling load and to improve the indoor thermal comfort. However, the internal air temperature of naturally ventilated buildings is still high on very hot days in the area where the day and night external air temperature are very high. For example, Chongqing is a valley city located in south- west China. Its average maximum air temperature is over o C in July. The internal air temperature is always over 30 o C during the day and night in summer[10]. The geothermal ventilation system can significantly improve the thermal comfort in this area [11]. Fig. 7 is the CFD simulation of PPD for a room with buried pipe cooling system. The internal air temperature can be dropped to about 27 o C when external air temperature is 37 o C. This thermal condition will be acceptable for most occupants in the southern part of China. CONCLUSION 1. Chinese housing development is moving forward quickly, however the energy efficiency and sustainable concepts are still need to be addressed by architects and designers. 2. In order to achieve sustainable housing development, a high quality construction and energy efficiency design strategy must be applied at the early design stage. Good passive building design measurements can improve indoor thermal climate and energy saving. 3. Solar radiation is major factor causing the risk of internal overheating. The optimum orientation and glazing ration can reduce the cooling energy for the building in south China. It is suggested that to select north-south orientatiion as could as possible and reduce or avoid the glazing areas in east-west side. 4. Shading device should be considered for reducing the cooling energy. External louver is the most effective shading device and curtain will be the effective and economic measurement. 5. Summer high ventilation will drop the internal peak air temperature by about 5 o C. 6. The buried pipe cooling system is a good way to improve thermal comfort in southern area, which has high external temperature all day. The internal air temperature with this system can be 27 o C when external air temperature reaches 37 o C. Fig. 7 CFD simulation for PPD of a room with buried pipe ventilation system 677

6 REFERENCE Nie Meisheng, The current situation and future development for China s housing, Construction inistry Housing Report, 2000 Chinese Statistic Book, China Xu, R "The trend of the development of new walling material, China Building Material No ASHRAE, 1992, "ASHRAE Standard 55-92: Thermal Environmental Conditions For Human Occupancy, ASHRAE, Atlanta, USA Xie SM, The principle of building climate zoning, Proceeding of Six National Building Physics Conference, China. Pp Fanger P O, 1972, Thermal comfort, Mcderate-Hill, New York. ISO. International Standard 7730, 1984, "Moderate thermal environment, determination of PMV and PPD indices and specification of the condition for thermal comfort" GENEVA ISO De dear, 1991 Thermal comfort in the humid tropics, field experiments in air conditioned and natural ventilation buildings in Singapore. International Journal of Biometeorology, Vol.34, pp CBSRI, Chinese Building Science Research Institute, "Indoor thermal environment for the sub-comfort residential building", China Li B, et al 1997, The report of the project Improving indoor environment for residential building in Chomgqing., Chongqin Jianzhu University, China Yao.R et al, The use of earth tube system as a means of improving indoor thermal comfort in south China. The world Reneable Energy Congress-VI Brighton. UK 1-7 July

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