An experimental study on the indoor thermal environment in prefabricated houses in the subtropics

Yan Wang, Lei Wang, Enshen Long, Shiming Deng

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Temporary prefabricated houses (PHs) can be effective in providing disaster victims with a temporary living place quickly whenever there is a natural disaster, and are also widely used in providing construction workers with living places. However, there are very limited studies on indoor thermal environment inside PHs, with their inadequacies. Therefore, an experimental study on the indoor thermal environments in an experimental PH located in the subtropics is reported in this paper. The study results suggested that at closed door and window situation, the air temperature inside the experimental PH was very high at daytime in summer, but very low at nighttime in winter. In addition, the variation of the air temperature inside the PH appeared synchronously with that of outdoor air temperature at daytime in summer, suggesting insignificant thermal mass of envelope to store solar heat gain. Furthermore, in both winter and summer, indoor air temperature stratification was observed. At daytime, indoor air temperature was increased with the height but at nighttime, decreased with the height. Finally, external roof temperatures in both winter and summer time were lower than outdoor air temperature, reflecting sky cooling effects for the experimental PH. The measured thermal environments inside the experimental PH, clearly demonstrated that the thermal environments inside PHs are highly unacceptable for long term occupation and that appropriate measures should be taken to improve the thermal environments in PHs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-539
Number of pages11
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2016


  • Abbreviations PH prefabricated house
  • RH relative humidity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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