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An Analysis of Some Observations of Thermal Comfort in an Equatorial Climate
  1. C. G. Webb
  1. Building Research Station, Garston, Watford, Herts.


    The analysis is introduced by a brief account of the development of work on thermal comfort. The observations, which are fully described in relation to the interior climates which were experienced, were made in Singapore in 1949-50. The climate of Singapore is typical of the equator, being warm, damp and windless; and the annual variation is almost negligible. Buildings are unheated, of an open type, and shaded from the sun and sky.

    A multiple regression equation has been derived, giving the thermal effect on a number of subjects of variations in the air temperature, the water vapour pressure, and the air velocity within the ranges experienced. The implications of the equation are discussed, and a climatic index is derived from it which is similar in definition to the widely used “effective temperature” scale, but shows a better correlation with thermal sensation. The new index is named the Singapore index.

    At a further stage the thermal sensation scale is simplified for the purpose of probit analysis. The probit regressions of discomfort due to warmth and cold are separately given in relation to the new index, and are combined to yield a thermal comfort graph from which the optimum is obtained and explored. A comfort chart for the rapid assessment of these humid climates is supplied, and an alternative form of the index equation is given which is more suitable for rapid calculation.

    It appears desirable in an equatorial climate to attempt to minimize discomfort by allowing to some extent for individual thermal requirements, and the benefits of a suitable climatic spread within a room are described.

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