Thermal Comfort in Old Traditional Shophouses in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Keywords:traditional shophouses, thermal comfort, indoor environment, Ho Chi Minh City
Cooling is the main requirement for occupant thermal satisfaction in buildings in warm to hot climates across much of the year. This is especially true in naturally ventilated housing, for example, in traditional houses of the tropics, which distinctive passive cooling design strategies including shading, natural ventilation, convective cooling, and light structure optimised to respond to the hot climate and retain the comfortable indoor environment. Thus, energy consumption can be reduced. Those effects are also found in traditional dwellings in Vietnam, in particular, traditional vernacular shophouses in Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC). However, due to the accumulative pressures of changing society, economy, and urban environment in the city, getting thermal comfort indoors has become difficult. The interplay between building, people, management, and comfort is usually complex in the towns preserving the values of the urban and architectural heritage of the city. The quality of traditional vernacular buildings has been degraded while local people desire comfortable living conditions and spatial expansion for the family extension. The paper aims to examine the building and urban characteristics of old traditional shophouses and their comfortable environment in Cho Lon town, HCMC, in which, a large number of traditional dwellings are reported. A case study built in the early 1900s on Trieu Quang Phuc street will be selected for analysing architectural features before and after renovation in 2007. Consequently, the indoor environmental impact due to the change of building features will be investigated. The problems of discomfort, renovation, and preservation will be explained. Then, some recommendations in design will be proposed to help designers/stakeholders renovate traditional shophouses toward achieving comfort, preserving vernacular architecture, saving energy, and getting occupant delight. The research techniques included field visits and numerical analyses to understand long-term environmental performances in such case studies and the effect of proposed design solutions.
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