Studies of outdoor thermal comfort in northern China

Dayi Lai, Deheng Guo, Yuefei Hou, Chenyi Lin, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

369 Citations (Scopus)


Outdoor spaces play important roles in daily lives, and the use of these spaces is determined largely by outdoor thermal comfort. Few studies have been conducted on outdoor thermal comfort in northern China. Using microclimatic monitoring and subject interviews at a park in Tianjin, China, this investigation studied outdoor thermal comfort under different climate conditions. Although outdoor thermal environment varied greatly with air temperature from -5.0 to 34.5°C, 83.3% of respondents consider it "acceptable". Preferences in solar radiation, wind speed, and relative humidity were related to air temperature. The higher the air temperature was, the higher the wind speed and the lower the solar radiation and relative humidity desired by the occupants, and vice versa. The data were also used to evaluate three indices. The Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) satisfactorily predicted outdoor thermal comfort, while the Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) overestimated it. The neutral physiological equivalent temperature (PET) range found in this study was 11-24°C, which was lower than the ranges in Europe and Taiwan. Our study indicated that residents of Tianjin were more adapted to cold environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)110-118
Number of pages9
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2014


  • Cold climate
  • Outdoor spaces
  • Thermal comfort
  • Thermal index
  • Thermal sensation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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