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Thermal comfort evaluation of high-rise buildings in Accra, Ghana

The use of glass as a building material has greatly been taken advantage of over the past century. The beauty of the facade of any building is enhanced when glass is used as cladding, irrespective of the building’s geographical location. Glass has the ability to gain heat quickly and dissipate it into any space. The objective of the study of high-rise buildings was to measure indoor thermal conditions, and interview, observe and question occupants in high-rise buildings in the city of Accra, Ghana. Their subjective opinions would help designers, facility managers and clients to understand and improve upon the quality of high-rise office buildings. The acquired data was processed using MS Excel application. Furthermore, the results showed that commercial high-rise buildings run on mechanical systems of ventilation and lighting with little or no provision for natural systems or shading devices. The effects are poor indoor conditions and discomfort to occupants during power outages. Moreover, building occupants need to be energy conscious and be trained in the operation of installed systems. The research also proposed that in subsequent years, policies should be put in place to check and regulate the use of building materials such as glass. Architects are entreated to research building materials not only for aesthetic purposes but also for functionality. In a tropical country like Ghana, mechanical aids may be difficult to be completely avoided in buildings, nonetheless, natural systems must also be taken into account.

Author(s): Simons Barbara, Koranteng Christian and Woanyah-Deladem Sandra

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