Environmental Natural Processes that Achieve Thermal Comfort in Multifamily Buildings in Hot Arid Regions
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractBuildings, especially in hot climates, consume a lot of energy when people want to be comfortable inside them, which translates to very expensive fees each month. The most innovative response to this problem is renewable energy, that is used, in this case, to run mechanical HVAC systems. Renewable energy is the solution for many problems, but to avoid urban heat islands when using excessive HVAC systems (powered by renewables), and to solve thermal comfort-related problems, there has to be other solution. The major challenge to find it would be to have a change of thinking process. If a building in a hot-arid region uses natural processes to emulate the functions of HVAC systems, and the proper passive strategies, then, it will provide thermal comfort to its users, diminishing the need of a mechanical system. This hypothesis will be carried out by extracting the natural processes found in a specific case in nature, applying them into a building's design, and then simulating its energy efficiency with the adequate software. There will be a comparison of the same proposed building without the natural processes, to have tangible numbers showing that these proposed strategies, in fact, work. With explanatory detailed diagrams and the energy analysis, the hypothesis could be proven correct or incorrect. The significance of this approach relies on the proximity to the natural processes that have been working in different aspects of life since the beginning of time. They have been there all the time, waiting until architects, engineers, and people in general use them, instead of making more new energy-using inventions. By having the numbers from a conventional building and the ones of the proposed building, and the right environmental diagrams, the experiment should be valid. In the near future, there should be more research focused on nature and its processes, in order to be able to reduce the use of mechanical systems, and with that, reduce the energy use and the carbon footprint.
Degree ProgramGraduate College