Field study of pedestrians' comfort temperatures under outdoor and semi-outdoor conditions in Malaysian university campuses

Int J Biometeorol. 2021 Apr;65(4):453-477. doi: 10.1007/s00484-020-02035-3. Epub 2021 Jan 8.


Difficulties in controlling the effects of outdoor thermal environment on the human body are attracting considerable research attention. This study investigated the outdoor thermal comfort of urban pedestrians by assessing their perceptions of the tropical, micrometeorological, and physical conditions via a questionnaire survey. Evaluation of the outdoor thermal comfort involved pedestrians performing various physical activities (sitting, walking, and standing) in outdoor and semi-outdoor spaces where the data collection of air temperature, globe temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, metabolic activity, and clothing insulation data was done simultaneously. A total of 1011 participants were interviewed, and the micrometeorological data were recorded under outdoor and semi-outdoor conditions at two Malaysian university campuses. The neutral temperatures obtained which were 28.1 °C and 30.8 °C were within the biothermal acceptable ranges of 24-34 °C and 26-33 °C of the PET thermal sensation ranges for the outdoor and semi-outdoor conditions, respectively. Additionally, the participants' thermal sensation and preference votes were highly correlated with the PET and strongly related to air and mean radiant temperatures. The findings demonstrated the influence of individuals' thermal adaptation on the outdoor thermal comfort levels. This knowledge could be useful in the planning and designing of outdoor environments in hot and humid regions to create better thermal environments.

Keywords: Neutral temperature; Outdoor space; Outdoor thermal comfort; Physiological equivalent temperature; Semi-outdoor space.

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Pedestrians*
  • Temperature
  • Thermosensing
  • Universities
  • Wind