Outdoor thermal comfort: Coupling microclimatic parameters with subjective thermal assessment to design urban performative spaces

Mohamed H. Elnabawi, Neveen Hamza

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Thermal comfort plays a main role in encouraging people to use outdoor spaces, specifically in hot arid and humid climates. The reconciliation of climatic aspects during the urban design phase is limited in implementation, due to the need for multidisciplinary collaboration between desperate scientific fields of climatology, urban planning, and urban environmental modelling. This paper aims to create an integrated interface between the microclimate, outdoor thermal comfort, and design guidelines. The investigation combines subjective and objective approaches, including on-site field measurements, a structured questionnaire using the seven-point American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE 55) thermal sensation votes, and a correlation study of these votes and the microclimatic parameters. Pedestrian thermal comfort was then examined under six shading scenarios, addressing the form and opening of shading devices using computational fluid dynamics. Modelling is based on four dependent variables: wind velocity, ventilation flow rate, air temperature, and the physiological equivalent temperature (PET) index. Findings indicate that the form and location of apertures of the shading devices were the dominant factors in achieving thermal comfort on the urban scale, and led to a reduction in air temperature and a physiological equivalent temperature of 2.3–2.4C. Subjective votes indicate that people who live in hot arid climates have a wider range of adaptation and tolerance to local climatic conditions Accordingly, a psychometric chart, for the case study outdoor thermal comfort was developed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number238
Pages (from-to)1-26
Number of pages26
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Outdoor thermal comfort
  • Physiological equivalent temperature (PET)
  • Thermal sensation votes (TSV)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Architecture
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction


Dive into the research topics of 'Outdoor thermal comfort: Coupling microclimatic parameters with subjective thermal assessment to design urban performative spaces'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this