ABSTRACT: In the light of global concerns for sustainable environment, careful attention should be given to increased energy use in office buildings, especially energy use to achieve thermal comfort. In Nigeria, energy demand for thermal comfort in office buildings is very high and there is also high dependence on mechanical cooling devices that are powered by fossil fuels during office hours. It is important to maintain good thermal performance of office building to achieve sustainable environment. This study evaluates thermal performance of an existing office building in order to reveal the building’s design response to microclimatic variables that affect thermal comfort. Visual inspection of the building design was conducted to check for passive design features that could affect thermal performance in the case building. Moreover, an experimental investigation was scheduled during rainy and dry season to assess air temperature and relative humidity variations within the building. The case study office building is located in Akure, a city within the warm-humid climate region of Nigeria. Tiny Tag Ultra 2 Dual Channel Temperature/Relative Humidity (TGU-4500) Data loggers were employed for the building microclimate monitoring. Temperature-Humidity Index (THI) was evaluated from the data gathered using mathematical model. Results showed that average values of comfort index THI are within hot category throughout the period of the investigation. Although thermal distress during rainy season was milder than that of dry season. Building design affect thermal performance and indoor comfort conditions of office building, consequently, office
buildings’ design should be such that enhance energy savings and improved indoor thermal comfort conditions. This study recommends evaluation of thermal performance of existing office buildings, in order to determine their effects and contribution to environmental sustainability.
Keywords: Thermal Performance, Built Environment, Office Building, Nigeria, Warm-Humid Region
JoST. 2021. 11(1): 50-59
Accepted for Publication, April 30, 2021