Computational Approach to Predict Thermal Comfort Levels at Summer Peak Conditions in Passive House Based on Natural Ventilation

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 10, Issue 4, 1100419
Ibrahim Alhindawi1, Carlos Jimenez-Bescos2
1 Physics Unit, School of Natural Science and the Ryan Institute’s Centre for Climate and Air Pollution Studies, Galway, Ireland (Republic)
2 Oslo Metropolitan University, Oslo, Norway


The Passive House building concept has been widely-researched in relation to its performance, especially the aspects of energy consumption and thermal properties. Nevertheless, the design stages still do not present a dynamic thermal comfort predictive process that aids investigating the design performance. This research focuses on a methodology that calculates summer months peak conditions in a pilot Passive House dwelling in the United Kingdom, based on the natural ventilation plan effectiveness in maintaining sufficient airflows, while the mechanical ventilation-heat recovery summer bypass mode is on. The methodology’s technical aspect involves EnergyPlus dynamic simulations, Ansys computational fluid dynamics simulations, and the Centre for the Built Environment Thermal Comfort Tool. The results presented showed a  spectrum of predicted percentages of people dissatisfied ranging between 13.3-99.2% for different airspeeds. The majority were of uncomfortable levels at summer peak days. Results also presents the ranges of thermal comfort parameters simultaneously. The findings produced by the methodology may add a more comprehensive description to the thermal comfort status during design stages, employing the integrated software combination.

Keywords: Passivhaus; Thermal comfort; Building simulations; PMV/PPD; Natural ventilation; Energyplus; CFD

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