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Summer outdoor thermal benchmarks in Melbourne: Applications of different techniques

Kenawy, Inji; Lam, Cho Kwong Charlie; Shooshtarian, Salman


Cho Kwong Charlie Lam

Salman Shooshtarian


In urban planning, sustainability is often synonymous to urban livability. Urban livability seeks to improve living conditions of current and future outdoor users and hence it has become a key priority for cities authorities. Melbourne, as the world second most livable city, sets out to improve its urban life quality through various policies and initiatives. One area of improvement is the creation of sustainable outdoor spaces that provides comfortable thermal conditions for its residents. The relevant strategies to create such spaces are supported by the knowledge of human thermal comfort requirements, particularly during the summer thermal conditions. Hence, this study aims to develop comprehensive thermal comfort benchmarks for Melbourne during the summer. This study builds on 4717 subjective survey responses collected in seven urban environments with different settings. Data collection was performed in Melbourne's summer from 2012 to 2015. Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) was used to predict thermal comfort conditions. The results were based on four thermal comfort measures (neutral temperature, preferred temperature, acceptable thermal range and thermal comfort range). The analysis' outcomes suggested that Melbourne's summer acceptable thermal range is between 11.3 °C and 20.3 °C, the preferred temperature value is 21.5 °C, the neutral temperature value is 16.1 °C. Furthermore, PET index was calibrated against thermal responses collected from the surveys. The results would help to inform policies aiming to create sustainable outdoor spaces that are pleasant to outdoor users in Melbourne.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 28, 2021
Online Publication Date Feb 12, 2021
Publication Date 2021-05
Deposit Date Sep 14, 2022
Journal Building and Environment
Print ISSN 0360-1323
Publisher Elsevier
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 195
Article Number 107658
Keywords Summer thermal comfort, Human thermal comfort, Physiological equivalent temperature (PET), Calibration and benchmarking, Sustainable outdoor spaces, Outdoor thermal comfort, Urban livability
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