Simulation of the thermal performance of low cost houses in Venezuela to improve thermal comfort

  • YEAR
    Siem, Geovanni
    2006 Conference Papers
    Thermal comfort


ABSTRACT: This work aims to investigate the thermal behaviour of low cost houses widespread in
many regions in Venezuela and discuss their suitability to the climatic conditions, aided by ArchiPak a
simulation software developed by Dr. Steven Szokolay. The simulation conditions correspond to three
important cities located in different altitudes: Caracas (880 m), Maracaibo (40 m) and Mérida (1500 m).
Frequently the occupants complain of low thermal comfort, especially in the warm-humid climate which
prevails in most of the cities and populated areas. As a solution the owners undergo some
modifications based in installing air conditioning equipment which is accompanied with additional
energy consumption and maintenance costs. The results showed that the inside temperature in low
altitude is very high and houses are uncomfortable the whole year. In middle and high altitude the
temperatures are close to the comfort zones and it’s possible to improve their performance with
appropriate design strategies. The modifications that include solar protection in windows and a good
orientation improve the thermal behavior in a small measure, hence it’s necessary to use together with
other solutions focused on using materials in walls and roofs with more appropriate thermal properties
to produce a significant improvement.


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