Effect of thermal environmental factors on female students during summer and spring season: promoting a sustainable campus initiative

Khaula Alkaabi, Kashif Mehmood, Saif Obaid Bin Hdhaiba, Sarah Aljaberi, Noora Alkaabi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: The present study was conducted at the female campus of the United Arab Emirates University (UAEU), with a specific emphasis on the outside environment. This study aims to explore the influence of external conditions, including AC (AC), Time of Day (TD) variations, and Landscape Sites (LS) differences, on changes in physiological temperatures. Specifically, the focus is on understanding the dynamics of skin and abaya temperature (AT) when exposed to transient thermal environments, considering factors such as AC, LS, and different TD. By investigating these parameters, the research aims to gain insights into the thermal dynamics experienced by female students at the UAEU campus which can further lead to evaluate the thermal comfort (TC). Design/methodology/approach: The study involved three college-aged female participants simulating a daily walk to class on a arid tropical university campus. Real-time thermal measures were captured at 10-min intervals using the FLIR Thermal Camera. Statistical analyses, including the Kruskal–Wallis test and Don Bonferroni pairwise comparisons, were employed to assess significant differences in thermal conditions based on AC, TD, and LS. These tests rigorously analyzed the data to identify statistically significant variations in thermal conditions among the specified factors. Additionally, temperature data from the ECMWF ERA5 dataset, covering global climate from January 1940 to the present, was utilized. The GRADS application on a Linux-based system was used for data visualization and map chart creation. Findings: The study reveals a slight influence of AC on both Abaya temperatures (AT) and Skin temperatures (ST) during the summer, with more pronounced diurnal changes in the afternoon significantly affecting both metrics. Site characteristics minimally impact AT, but they have a noteworthy effect on ST. In the spring season, AT and ST remain unaffected by AC, while temporal fluctuations, particularly in the afternoon, exert a significant influence. LS variations show statistically insignificant impacts on both AT and ST. Additionally, temperature maps for specific 2023 dates provide distinctive trends in the UAE, offering insights into dynamic climatic conditions varying by season and TD. Originality/value: The study aims to address a knowledge gap by investigating the influence of AC, TD, and LS variations on physiological temperature change, specifically focusing on skin and AT. This investigation is conducted in the context of individuals exposed to thermal environmental factors within a arid tropical university campus setting. Practical implications: This research contributes to the existing knowledge by providing specific data on thermal conditions within the campus, enabling informed decision-making for creating a more comfortable and conducive environment for the students, thereby contributing to the goal of a sustainable campus.

Original languageEnglish
Article number49
JournalDiscover Sustainability
Volume5
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2024

Keywords

  • Abaya temperature
  • FLIR thermal camera
  • Skin temperature
  • Sustainable campus
  • Thermal environmental factors
  • UAEU

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Environmental Science (miscellaneous)
  • Energy (miscellaneous)

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