A Case Study of the Climate Factor on Thermal Comfort for Hostel Occupants in Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), Penang, Malaysia

Sulaiman Ramdan Wafi, Mohd Rodzi Ismail, Egbal Mohammed Ahmed


This paper investigates the environmental thermal comfort in hostel accommodations in USM Penang, Malaysia. Hostel occupants’ physical and psychological wellbeing depend very much on the thermal comfort performance of their environment. Thermal comfort is very much affected by climate factors such as air temperature, globe temperature, radiant temperature and air velocity. Nine hostels in USM Penang, Malaysia were selected for a field study to predict the thermal comfort level of the student occupants. Altogether a total of nine hundred and twenty-four respondents from the sample hostels participated in a questionnaire survey on their thermal environment perception and level of indoor comfort. Air temperature, air velocity, relative humidity and radiant temperature were monitored, observed and measured daily for a week from 8am to 12 midnight. ISO software (comfort calculator ISO 7730) was used to calculate climatic data, clothing, activities of respondents and the value of the PMV and PPD in order to obtain the vote for the quality of thermal comfort in the hostel room. The aim of this research was to investigate the thermal comfort level of the hostel occupant from the analysis of logistic regression and regression line. The results showed that there were significant differences (P < 0.05) between all parameters inside and outside the hostels in addition to the thermal comfort level for male and female occupants. This study predicted that climate affects thermal comfort in hostels located in a warm humid climate zone and also determined the actual thermal comfort in the hostel rooms. This study should be useful for optimizing the thermal comfort level in Malaysia.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5539/jsd.v4n5p50

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