Thermal comfort improvement of naturally ventilated patient wards in Singapore

Lan Lan*, Wayes Tushar, Kevin Otto, Chau Yuen, Kristin L. Wood

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Located near the equator, Singapore has a tropical rainforest climate with high temperature and high humidity. In hospitals of Singapore, the subsidized patient wards are designed to be naturally ventilated, considering the affordability for patients. However, due to the high occupant density of the patient wards and the hot humid climate, occupants may feel discomfort, especially in the older hospital wards which were not well designed for natural ventilation. In this paper, the thermal comfort level of occupants at Singapore's Changi General Hospital (CGH) is evaluated based on both in-situ measurements and modeling analysis. Against this backdrop, several low energy solution concepts that potentially improve the thermal comfort level of occupants in patient wards are analyzed and simulated using detailed building thermodynamic and airflow simulation. We found that this approach of combining thermodynamics, computational fluid dynamics, and thermal comfort level models was effective for analyzing and comparing the thermal comfort impact of alternative, low-energy building retrofit concepts. We also found that passive solutions to ventilation could be used effectively for a patient hospital ward, even in the tropical warm climate of Singapore.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)499-512
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • Natural ventilation
  • Night air purge
  • Sustainable building solutions
  • Thermal chimney
  • Thermal comfort
  • Tropical climate


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