Can thermal perception in a building be predicted by the perceived spatial openness of a building in a hot and humid climate?

  • Xiaoyu Du TU Delft, Architecture and the Built Environment


The authors wanted to prove that there is a large correlation between the concepts spatial openness and comfort (visual, wind speed and thermal) perception in people’s minds in a hot and humid climate in summer in order to be able to use spatial configuration parameters such as openness, connectivity and depth as a design tool for a comfortable an energy efficient building in the early design stages. 513 local Chinese college architecture students in 2015 were questioned about the relationship between spatial openness and comfort perception. The main findings for a hot and humid climate are: a. spatial openness of a particular space significantly effects occupants’ visual perception, wind speed perception and thermal perception in a particular space (p < .05). b. There is a strong effect size between spatial openness and visual and wind perception (w = .50 and .54); the effect size of the thermal perception is weaker (w = .14). c. The comfort perception is strongly influenced by the time of day, therefore visual perception, wind perception and thermal perception can influence occupant movement between different spaces as is the advice of the adaptive thermal comfort.


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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. Can thermal perception in a building be predicted by the perceived spatial openness of a building in a hot and humid climate?. A+BE | Architecture and the Built Environment, [S.l.], n. 10, p. 187-200, nov. 2019. ISSN 2214-7233. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 25 feb. 2020. doi: