Spatial configuration, building microclimate and thermal comfort: A modern house case

  • Xiaoyu Du TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


In this paper, the authors attempt to clarify the relationship between spatial configuration, building microclimate and thermal comfort through the investigation of a modern house in hot and humid climate with spatial diversity. First, the spatial configuration of the house was analysed in detail. The spatial geometric features, spatial boundary conditions, and human activities in the building were categorised. Secondly, field measurements were conducted to investigate the microclimate of the house. The air temperature, relative humidity and wind velocity were monitored on typical summer days. Thirdly, a dynamic thermal simulation was performed to predict the thermal comfort performance of the building over the period of an entire summer. The simulated results were compared with the measurements, and the adaptive thermal comfort approach was used to evaluate the thermal comfort. The modern house studied was found to have a varied spatial configuration, similar to local vernacular buildings, which produces diverse thermal environments in the building. The microclimate of this specific building could provide considerable thermal comfort for the occupants in summer under the local climate conditions, although thermal comfort cannot be achieved through free-running model in the hottest days, mechanical cooling or mixed model are needed.


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Author Biography

Xiaoyu Du, TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment

Xiaoyu Du obtained his MSc in Building Technology at Chongqing University, China. From 2002 to present, he taught at the department of building technology, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, Chongqing University. He is an associate professor in Chongqing university currently. He has a long experience of teaching in multidisciplines related to architectural design and designing practice. He teaches complex building design, building construction, detailed design and green building innovation related technologies for undergraduate and graduate students. He participated and finished some education and research projects, and published papers and book chapters. He also finished many design projects for residential communities and public buildings in China. He joined the faculty of architecture and the built environment, TU Delft as a guest researcher in 2011.

His research and teaching interests focus on complex building design, building construction and detailed design, space and spatial perception, zero-energy building design, adaptive thermal comfort, passive cooling technology and building performance simulation and evaluation.

How to Cite
DU, Xiaoyu. Spatial configuration, building microclimate and thermal comfort. A+BE | Architecture and the Built Environment, [S.l.], n. 10, p. 155-186, nov. 2019. ISSN 2214-7233. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 07 aug. 2020. doi: