The impact of zoning regulations on thermal comfort in non-conditioned housing in hot, humid climates: findings from Dhaka, Bangladesh
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2013, Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht. In parts of the developing world where densities are high but the availability of air conditioning is limited, building massing and height regulations can influence interior comfort levels. Dhaka, Bangladesh, is characterized by high population densities, a lack of open spaces, and high poverty levels, combining to produce living conditions which are not only uncomfortable, but may lead to the spread of disease. A recent change in zoning regulations provides an opportunity to assess the success of building heights and setbacks in improving indoor thermal comfort conditions. We assess the impact on thermal comfort within Dhakas non-conditioned apartment buildings of four zoning schemes which differ in their specifications for setbacks, maximum buildable area, and building heights; but that maintains the current density. Computer simulation techniques model the buildings to test solar, daylight, and ventilation inside the central building to calculate resultant indoor temperature, mean radiant temperature, relative humidity and air velocity. Comparison between these values helps to determine which zoning schemes produce the most favorable thermal conditions. Findings suggest that zoning schemes that provide better solar protection and better natural ventilation are able to reduce indoor temperature and increase indoor air velocity over that provided by current zoning regulations. Recommendations for revising current zoning regulations are given along with general recommendations for how buildings in hot, humid climates can maximize passive cooling, encouraging energy savings and environmental sustainability.