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Analyzing the thermal comfort conditions of outdoor spaces in a university campus in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Ghaffarianhoseini, Amirhosein, Berardi, Umberto, Ghaffarianhoseini, Ali, Al-Obaidi, Karam
The Science of the total environment 2019 v.666 pp. 1327-1345
cities, microclimate, shade, tropics, urbanization, vegetation, Malaysia
The rapid urban expansion in East-Asian cities has increased the need for comfortable public spaces. This study presents field measurements and parametric simulations to evaluate the microclimatic characteristics in a university campus in the tropical climate of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The study attempts to identify the thermally uncomfortable areas and their physical and design characteristics while debating on the circumstances of enhancing the outdoor comfort conditions for the campus users. Simulations in Envi-met and IES-VE are used to investigate the current outdoor thermal conditions, using classic thermal metric indices. Findings show high levels of thermal discomfort in most of the studied spaces. As a result, suggestions to improve the design quality of outdoor areas optimizing their thermal comfort conditions are proposed. The study concludes that effective re-design of outdoor spaces in the tropics, through adequate attention to the significant impacts of shading and vegetation, can result in achieving outdoor spaces with high frequency of use and improved comfort level.