Period: 2015 – 2016
Contractor Willemen asked 3E to analyse the impact of different roof designs on the thermal comfort of a typical house of a large Zambian housing project. Based on the results, mitigation measures and alternative designs were proposed.
Analysis of first results identified natural ventilation of the roof as the most feasible option to increase the thermal comfort. The simulations aimed at optimising the number, size and location of ventilation openings, taking into account a large number of scenario’s with regard to roof material, prevailing wind direction and the orientation of the house (in order to minimise the impact of solar irradiation). The impact of natural ventilation on the roof material itself was analysed as well.
Given the remote locations for the housing project, accurate weather data was a critical factor in the analysis. Detailed weather data was created based on smart interpolation of statistical weather data from surrounding locations.
Our study concluded that natural ventilation was key in improving the thermal comfort for the Zambian climate conditions and in maximising the lifetime of the selected roof material by avoiding too high temperatures and temperature fluctuations. A good compromise was found between acceptable ventilation rates and thermal comfort.
The final design of the house will be used for 2,000 houses being built on 4 different locations in Zambia.