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Improvement of Thermal Comfort by Passive Strategies. Case Study: Social Housing in Mexico

Rosa M. Rivera 1 and Gabriela Ledesma H. 2
1. Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK
2. Newcastle University, Newcastle, UK / Universitat Politécnica de Catalunya

Abstract—The purpose of this research is the enhancement of thermal comfort in social housing in four different climates zones in Mexico: Veracruz- Hot semi-humid, Monclova- Extremely Hot dry, San Luis Potosi- dry and; Mexico D.F- Temperate semi-humid. Thermal comfort levels from base case analysis showed poor building performance. Moreover, thermal variations among climate zones were evident; thus, overheating was the main concern for warm semi-humid and extremely hot dry climate; and, overcooling for temperate climates.

The analysis on improvement of thermal comfort was done by dynamic simulation based on five parameters: building fabric, shading, ventilation, infiltration and height. Several strategies were tested for each parameter and simulated individually for each climate zone. The results then were compared to the base case as to determine the best strategies according to the climate zone.
Three built-on strategies were made by grouping the most effective strategies of the previous five parameters: 1) insulating the building, 2) incrementing ventilation and shading, and 3) using passive cooling and heating by solar chimneys. Thus, the integrated strategies begun with the simplest improvements and built on themselves to more complex constructions capable of maintaining thermal comfort all year round with the use of active heating or cooling.
Index Terms—thermal comfort, passive design, social housing, passive heating, passive cooling

Cite: Rosa M. Rivera, Gabriela Ledesma H., "Improvement of Thermal Comfort by Passive Strategies. Case Study: Social Housing in Mexico," International Journal of Structural and Civil Engineering Research, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 227-233, August 2019. doi: 10.18178/ijscer.8.3.227-233