Pathways for optimal provision of thermal comfort and sustainability of residential housing in hot and humid tropics of Australia – A critical review

Shokhida Safarova, Edward Halawa, Andrew Campbell, Lisa Law, Joost van Hoof

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Abstract

    The optimal provision of thermal comfort and energy efficiency for residential housing in the hot and humid tropics presents challenges and opportunities for housing and subdivision designs. Climatic challenges come in the form of high ambient temperature and humidity, especially during the wet season and transition periods. On the other hand, climatic advantages come in the form of breezes coupled with relatively dry air during the dry season, enabling thermal comfort attainment through natural ventilation that employs prevailing breezes. This paper discusses existing design practices for housing and subdivisions in the hot and humid tropics with particular reference to the city of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory. This includes several research issues and gaps that have been identified and need to be addressed. The paper also critically assesses how air speed, air temperature and humidity – three of the thermal comfort parameters – play a key role in housing and subdivision design consideration in the hot and humid tropics. In doing so, the paper sheds light on the inadequacy of the current residential energy rating methodology as a tool for assessing tropical housing performance and proposes a new direction for future research to ameliorate these issues for the tropics.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1022-1040
    Number of pages19
    JournalIndoor and Built Environment
    Volume27
    Issue number8
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2018

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