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The Need For Thermal Comfort In Lecture Theatres

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The inadequacy of conventional energy sources couple with the ever increasing energy costs in the phase of global warming; it is therefore, imperative to reinvent natural means to attain optimal cooling for comfort in buildings. Effective learning environment (physical), stimulate better dissemination and assimilation of information in a conducive and comfortable indoor space. The need for thermal comfort in a learning environment such as lecture theatre, plays a tremendous benefits to human health; good ventilation/ air quality affects body metabolism rate, which thereafter affects the quality of learning.

Ferco (2017), define lecture theatre/ halls as a large room used for instruction, typically at a college or university. Lecture Theatres are large buildings with rows of seat which are arrange in an incline manner (pitched floor), that are used for lectures/ instructions, seminar and other functions and its capacity is measured in hundreds. Oxford Air Conditioning (2017) suggests that Atmospheric temperature above 37 degrees causes the brain to trigger a set of reflex reaction in order for the body to become cooler, such as sweating; due to the aforementioned brain activity, the brain ability to learn and retain new information becomes less. The need for optimal cooling in a learning environment such as lecture theatre is therefore very important, because of its tremendous benefits to human health; good ventilation/ air quality which affects body metabolism rate, thereafter affects the quality of learning.

It is important for such buildings to be developed to meet up with today’s realities in term of science and technology to withstand present day reality of climate change (excessive heating), deficiency of energy and high cost of maintaining power supply which is not sustainable. Givoni in 2009 defines passive cooling as a process cooling of buildings without the use of any external cooling system. This implies the use of renewable sources of energy solutions to increase heat loss in buildings. The study of passive cooling system and it application is imperative in development of lecture theatres considering global warming and excessive heat, in conjunction with the high cost and inadequacies of energy supply. Therefore, to achieve conducive learning environment for students and their lectures’ it is imperative that cost effective and sustainable design solutions which passive cooling is an option could be employed. Since passive cooling is an approach of cooling an interior (indoor) space by means of non-mechanical system, which has long been in used since the onset of architecture but it is now seldomly practice in Nigeria, easier and more expedient means of cooling are the norm of this era.

The increase in energy consumption has led to environmental pollution which consequences are the depletion of the Ozone layer and global warming. Environmental activist and experts are now clamoring for greener building and sustainable approaches to enhance and create comfortable, livable and working environments. Passive cooling design is one of the sure ways of attaining building sustainability. Considering the epileptic power supply in Nigeria, it is only expedient for professionals in the building industry to consider of passive design techniques such as building envelope and shading, natural ventilation and air cooling as means of cooling indoor spaces, other than just mechanical methods. Passive cooling in tropical climates such as Nigeria can be realized by intelligent environmental and design considerations. In tropical climates, it’s important to keep the interior of a building cool and it is known as “passive cooling” because the reliance on “active” or mechanical means (air-conditioning) is kept to a minimum. Nigeria happens to fall within the tropical climate region as such it experiences some degree of hot temperature (heat). There has been steadily increase in the demand for power supply which is fuelled by population explosion and the economy of Nigeria. Regardless of this increase, the use of active cooling system is still on the rise, giving prominent to non- sustainable design practice which will only increase the greenhouse gas emission.

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