Pollution Research Paper

Vol 39, Issue 2, 2020; Page No.(479-486 )

THERMAL DISCOMFORT AND HEALTH SYMPTOMS IN INDIAN OCCUPATIONAL SETTINGS IN THE CLIMATE CHANGE SCENARIO

P.K. LATHA, VIDHYA VENUGOPAL, R.K. ELANGOVAN, M. NEELAMEGAM AND S. REKHA

Abstract

Heat stress, a common risk at workplaces in hot climates, is likely to be enhanced in the changing climate with consequent increase in energy demands for cooling. The study assessed the thermal comfort and energy demands in workplaces with an aim to provide sustainable solutions for improved health and reduced energy consumption via use of building materials. Data on indoorheat stress, workers’ thermal comfort, excess energy consumed for cooling were collected from select workplaces. Wet Bulb Globe Temperature exceeded safe limits for 66% and thermal discomfort for 56 % workers who had higher odds of self-reported health symptoms (Adj. OR=8). An increase in energy demand corresponding to heat level in the industry was observed. Use of vacuum insulation panel, phase change materials, aerated autoclaved concrete & polymer skin incorporated in the building envelope and passive envelop design has been proven to largelyimprove thermal comfort as a passive sustainable solution in the rising temperature scenario.

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