The effect of different wall materials at different orientations on indoor thermal comfort in residential buildings in kumasi, Ghana

C. Koranteng, C. Essel and S. Amos-abanyie

Research Paper I Published February, 2015

Research Journal of Engineering and Technology  Vol. 1 (1), pp. 9-18



This paper explores the thermal properties of wall materials with different orientations to know which performs better within the warm-humid climatic Region of Kumasi. Four cases (sandcrete blocks, mud, bricks and concrete) were selected for the study with variations in each material. Thermal simulation analysis was employed as the means of comparison. The results illustrate a slightly better performance of the North and South orientations (29.8 to 30.0°C with relative humidity of 70.8 to 71%) than the East and West (29.9 to 30.1°C and 70.4 to 70.7%) in terms of indoor temperature and relative humidity. Mean radiant temperature recorded also followed a similar trend where the North and South orientations performed slightly better than the East and West. The West Orientation recorded surface outdoor solar gains of 92.6W/m2 (the highest amongst the rest). Mean radiant temperature was comparatively high for the mud material during the early mornings to the late afternoons due to its high thermal conductivity. The study concludes that material differences do not significantly have any effect on indoor comfort but rather the orientation of the building. With the right materials and a stern conformity to passive design principles, buildings could be made comfortable for its occupants.

Keywords: Thermal performance, Comfort, Temperature, Relative humidity, Orientation


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