Effect of different pavements on human thermal comfort conditions

M. Akif Irmak, Sevgi Yilmaz, Doğan Dursun

Abstract

The urban heat island (UHI) phenomenon and outdoor human thermal comfort may be affected by several factors such as the size of the built environment, the rate of open and green spaces and different types of ground surface covers (e.g., grass and artificial covers) in urban areas. Depending on the types and structures of the pavement/covering materials, which can have effects on the albedo and surface heating, ground surfaces reflect solar radiation or heat the air above them. Pavements that can absorb more solar radiation may turn it into heat, thus warming the air, which in turn heats urban areas and make them uncomfortable for human beings. The present study investigates the effect of different materials on the UHI intensity by considering nine different types of materials (andesite, granite, basalt, travertine, impregnated wood, soil, asphalt, clinker powder and grass) in the Ata botanical garden located in the city center of Erzurum, in the Eastern Anatolia region of Turkey. Temperature data were measured on clear summer days during the month of July and compared in terms of thermal comfort. All measurements were taken 150 cm above the ground at 12:00 p.m. by using an infrared thermometer (CEM-DT-8812). In order to estimate the physiologically equivalent temperature (PET) for each soil type, data were analyzed using the RayMan 2.1 software, and the scores were statistically analyzed with analysis of variance (ANOVA). The differences in mean temperatures were evaluated with Fisher’s least significant difference (LSD) test. The results showed that mean PET scores ranged between 28.9 ºC for impregnated wood and 25.9 ºC for grass (a difference of 3.0 ºC), while the other scores were 26.1, 26.7, 27.1, 27.5, 27.8, 28.5 and 28.5 ºC for travertine, granite, andesite, soil, clinker powder, basalt, and asphalt, respectively. The analytical results indicated that all the studied materials create a slight heat stress (23.1-29.0 ºC) according to their PET indices and their predetermined comfort intervals. However, the levels of heat stress for impregnated wood, asphalt, and basalt were higher than the others. It was determined that grass, travertine and cube granite are optimal surface materials, since they exhibited a level of heat stress that is close to the comfort range (18.1-23.0 ºC).

Keywords

Thermal comfort; pavements, PET; urban heat island; outdoor thermal comfort

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