An Investigation into Thermal Comfort of Shelters in Refugee Camps in Palestine Using Questionnaires and Computer Simulation

Sanaa Y. Saleh, Mohammed Gadi


It is essential for building designer, as a major responsibility, to provide appropriate indoor conditions for human thermal comfort in order to attain healthy, productive, and effective lifestyle in buildings. Many researchers studied thermal environment and occupant’s comfort in residential buildings of different climatic zones at various geographical locations. Specifically, in Palestine, such field studies have never been conducted on shelters in refugees camps. This paper intended to investigate thermal comfort in shelters in refugee camps in Palestine. Various factors that could influence thermal comfort in these shelters were inspected, including environmental factors, secondary factors, and shelters’ envelope. Two main methods, questionnaire and computer simulation, were employed in this study. Questionnaires were utilized to evaluate the thermal environment of the shelters through interviews with 155 residents from Jabalia refugee camp, Palestine. Thermal simulation using Thermal Analysis Software (TAS v9.1.4.1) was employed to predict thermal comfort in the shelters. Twenty one shelters were simulated. The gathered data from the questionnaire and the predicted data from the computer simulation were analyzed and contrasted utilizing statistical analysis software (SPSS). The results from both methods indicated that the shelters are overall hot in summer and cold in winter. A statistically significant difference was found between the occupants’ thermal sensation vote (TSV) gathered by the questionnaire and the predicted mean vote (PMV) estimated by the computer simulation. PMV is higher than TSV in summer, while TSV is higher than PMV in winter. However, the mean of PMV–TSV discrepancies was less than 0.25 scale units which is an acceptable bias. Keywords: PMV, Thermal comfort, Refugee Camps, Computer Simulation


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