Developing the Methodology to Investigate the Thermal Comfort of the Elderly for Sustainable Living in Hot-Humid Thailand


Providing thermal comfort is one of the main requirements for housing and the ways in which thermal comfort can be obtained, closely relate to sustainability. This paper describes how a survey instrument was designed to measure the physiological and psychological condition of the elderly in the hot-humid climate zone with a view to enhancing sustainable living conditions. Participants were 60 years old or more and lived in retirement homes in Thailand. The fieldwork was conducted in three phases - an exploratory survey, instrument development and pilot survey. The exploratory survey was conducted in Bangkok and Chiang Mai by interviewing 47 participants. The results show that both physical and mental health levels of the elderly affected their thermal perceptions as well as culture influencing adaptive behaviour. The exploratory survey was adjusted to account for apparent perception difficulties. After developing the main instrument, a pilot survey was conducted in Bangkok to test several variables relating to personal matters, thermal perception and adaptive behaviour. The research found that the education level of the elderly influenced their understanding of the questions and their capacity to answer them. However, a series of graphics were introduced to support the questions which helped responses to the survey considerably.

Author Information
Sumavalee Chindapol, University of New South Wales, Australia
John Blair, University of New South Wales, Australia
Paul Osmond, University of New South Wales, Australia
Deo Prasad, University of New South Wales, Australia

Paper Information
Conference: ACSEE2015
Stream: Social Sustainability and Sustainable Living

This paper is part of the ACSEE2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon