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Thermal Comfort in the Dome-shaped Hall

The Issue

A client approached us to undertake a thermal comfort study of an existing dome-shaped building located in the hot and humid climate of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where the occupants had expressed thermal discomfort. The client wishes to make some adjustments and renovations to the existing roof (dome-shaped roof with polycarbonate) of the building and improve the thermal comfort and the satisfaction of the building occupants.


Our Approach

For this study, the client has come out with the proposal (current design) however they are unsure of the effectiveness of the current design. We are using IES-VE to simulate the current design and on top of that, we have come out with 3 different case studies to further improve the thermal comfort.



Figures: Dome-shaped building and the exhibition hall for thermal comfort study

(Photo sources: Wikipedia and Google Map)

Figure: The IES-VE model of the dome-shaped building


The case studies were involving selecting better roofing material, treating to internal ceiling and treating the external roofing.

Table: Five (5) Case Studies to simulate thermally comfort optimum condition



The model has been built according to the thermal stratification to mimic the actual situation of the building

Figure: Thermal Zones Stratification within IES-Ve simulation


Our findings

Due to the unique situation of the dome-shaped exhibition hall, even though air temperature might be meeting the required value (for ex 24 ºC), however, the important factor that affects the thermal comfort, in this case, would be the amount of heat that goes into the hall (radiant temperature), therefore, the dry resultant temperature is used for evaluation instead of air temperature.

The threshold set @ 26ºC above will be considered not comfortable to the occupant.



Figure: Thermal Comfort results of base case scenario (75% people dissatisfaction)



Figure: Thermal Comfort results of design case scenario (50% people dissatisfaction)



Figure: Thermal Comfort results of option A case scenario (22% people dissatisfaction)



Figure: Thermal Comfort results of option B case scenario (1% people dissatisfaction)



Figure: Thermal Comfort results of option C case scenario (0% people dissatisfaction)



Table: Summary results of the simulation



Our Recommendations

Based on our simulations we could conclude that:

  1. The current design case still incurs 50% of people's dissatisfaction even with internal ceiling treatment of 50% area covered with aluminium and insulation materials.

  2. The best treatment option is to replace the polycarbonate roof with a better thermal performed polycarbonate which can drastically reduce the % people's dissatisfaction and at the same time reduced the cooling energy.




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