Thermal Comfort in Passive Solar Earth Integrated Rooms

Peter Sobotka, Hiroshi Yoshino, Shin Ichi Matsumoto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Presented are the two-year temperature and relative humidity measurements in semi-underground rooms in Sendai, Japan, and one year measurements in fully earth integrated rooms in Brhlovce, Slovakia. The monthly mean and daily mean spring and summer data are shown together with Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) indices. Similar data on air temperatures were found as in the previous studies. However, the more complex evaluation of thermal comfort using PMV index helped to determine that fully earth integrated rooms without insulation and proper design of transparent constructions may be cold in spring and even summer in a temperate climate. This finding is different from previous studies, which stated that earth integrated spaces in temperate climates were comfortable on the basis of air temperatures alone. The degree of earth integration, the level of insulation of the earth in contact with construction, and the size of south oriented transparent construction were found to be the key parameters of passive solar earth shelter design and conclusions were drawn regarding their implementation in various climates for optimal control of spring and summer thermal environment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-166
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1996 Mar

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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