Thermal Comfort Requirements for Different Occupants in Malaysian Hospital In-patient Wards
Keywords:thermal comfort, hospital ward, air-conditioning, patient, thermal sensation vote, comfort temperature
It is important and challenging to provide suitable thermal comfort conditions in hospital building due to widely varying conditions requirements by different types of occupants. The precise control of temperature and humidity is vital in hot-humid hospitals as these affect diseases, infections and allergies etc. indirectly. A field study comprising of thermal environment evaluation and thermal comfort survey, has been conducted in one Malaysian hospital in-patient wards with 315 respondents. Thermal comfort requirements of patients, visitors and nurses have been investigated. The patient rooms as well as nurse workstations were found bit overcooled by patients, visitors and nurses. Thermal preference of no change by patients and visitors whereas lower temperature was observed by nursing staff in wards. A bit humid air was preferred by all respondents as mean humidity sensation vote was bit drier for all of them. The air movement was acceptable for all respondents in wards as mean percentage of acceptance for every group was more than 91%. Comfort temperatures based on operative temperature for patients, visitors and nurses have been found as 25.7, 25.5 and 23.5°C which can be used as deign guides for hospital HVAC system by local building service engineers and researchers.