A field investigation on the wintry thermal comfort and clothing adjustment of residents in traditional Nepalese houses

Gautam B., Rijal H.B., Shukuya M., Imagawa H , Journal of Building Engineering ,26 (2019)

Nepal is a landlocked country with geographic variations that have led its people to develop a variety of distinctive cultures. Part of these cultures is reflected in the way that people create a suitable indoor thermal environment in residential buildings, depending on the outdoor climatic conditions. Temperature preferences may vary depending on the local climate characteristics. The aim of this study was to investigate the clothing adaptation of Nepalese residents in traditional houses during the winter. The indoor thermal conditions were examined during a winter in three regions of Nepal with different climates, including cold, temperate and sub-tropical climatic regions. A set of thermal measurements and thermal comfort survey was conducted in traditional houses of selected villages in Mustang, Kavrepalanchok, and Sarlahi districts during the winter of 2016. As part of the survey, 275 votes were collected, while the indoor and outdoor thermal conditions were being recorded in 108 houses. The mean indoor globe temperature was 12.2 °C in the cold region, which was 4.7 °C and 10.0 °C lower than that in the temperate and sub-tropical regions, respectively. The estimated mean comfort globe temperature was 13.8 °C in the cold region, which was 4.1 °C and 9.3 °C lower than that in the temperate and sub-tropical regions, respectively. The difference in the regional comfort temperature is quite large, and this is considered mainly due to differences in the adaptive behavior and particularly the clothing adaptation of the residents in these distinct climatic regions. The mean preferred temperature in the cold region was 14.7 °C, which is slightly higher than its mean comfort temperature. The mean clothing insulation was 1.63 clo in the cold region, and 1.32 clo and 1.15 clo in the temperate and sub-tropical regions, respectively. The choice of clothing and its insulation properties during the winter were mainly based on the condition of the building, indoor and outdoor climatic conditions.

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