Author: Chan, Man Ying
Title: Study on the elderly’s outdoor thermal comfort in the open spaces of the public housing estate in Hong Kong
Advisors: Niu, Jianlei (BEEE)
Degree: M.Eng.
Year: 2023
Subject: Human comfort
Public spaces
Older people -- China -- Hong Kong -- Attitudes
Urban climatology -- China -- Hong Kong
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Department of Building Environment and Energy Engineering
Pages: v, 76 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
Abstract: Improving outdoor thermal comfort is an important goal of people living in subtropical and high-density cities like Hong Kong which is seriously affected by the heat island effect. The extreme weather in the city will have physical and psychological effects and even harm the citizens when they stay outdoors, especially the elderly. On the other hand, the aging problem in Hong Kong is serious and they are one of the largest users groups of outdoor public space. Their thermal perception should be taken into consideration. In this research, the Choi Hung Estate is selected to study the elderly’s thermal perception. The thermal comfort index Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) was used to measure the integral effects of how a layperson responds to the thermal environment. By conducting onsite meteorological measurements and questionnaire surveys, their thermal preference, activity pattern and suggestions on the surrounding environment were investigated and identified. The PET was relatively lower in the morning, reached the peak at around 14:00 and slightly dropped after that. It was observed that the elderly chose to stay outdoors in the morning because the PET is lower, while the period of 12:00 to 14:00 had the lowest attendance of the elderly because of high PET and lunchtime. The acceptable or neutral PET temperature defined by the elderly was 29.3°C. Generally, most of the aged preferred stronger wind and lower air temperature while the desired intensity of solar radiation was diverse. More greenery and sheltered open spaces were recommended by the elderly which help reduce the PET temperature and prevent them from direct sunlight. These suggestions are useful for urban planners, architects and other professionals to design a better thermal environment. It was also examined that the ENVI-met simulation results were acceptable and satisfactory with the validation of comparing the onsite data with that generated by the software. The minimum differences between onsite data and ENVI-­met’s data in air temperature and PET were 0.1°C and 1.1°C respectively. ENVI-met provides a less time-consuming alternative to obtain meteorological data.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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