Identifying outdoor thermal risk areas and evaluation of future thermal comfort concerning shading orientation in a traditional settlement

Kuo Tsang Huang, Shing Ru Yang, Andreas Matzarakis, Tzu Ping Lin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


The outdoor thermal environment is expected to be deteriorated under climate change. An approach of risk identification including assessment from aspects of thermal stress effect, people's exposure, and local's vulnerability were adopted to study a hot-and-humid traditional rural community located at Tainan, Taiwan. Layers of each aspect were either constructed by in-situ measurements or simulations. To evaluate the future thermal comfort changes by simulations, the prerequisite hourly climate data of three future time slices were produced. Prognostic simulation model, ENVI-met, in combination with diagnostic model, RayMan, were respectively used for identifying current spatial distribution of thermal stress and for assessing the future thermal comfort changes. High thermal risk area was identified by superimposing layers of hazard, exposure and vulnerability. It revealed that because of the tourists’ vulnerability to adapt local climate and the inflexibleness of choosing visiting time, it exhibited a high thermal stress at the Main Courtyard where its thermal comfort conditions will be deteriorated due to climate change. Furthermore, the thermal comfort conditions in various shading orientation were analyzed based on the changing climate in three future time slices, i.e. 2011–2040, 2041–2070, and 2071–2100. The results show the area with shading in the East and West side is more comfort than in the North side. In hot season, shading in the West side contributes less PET increasing, especially in the afternoon period. The severest overheat problem (the physiological equivalent temperature, PET > 40 °C) at the Main Courtyard will increase from current 10% to 28% in 2071–2100 in terms of overheating occurrence frequency. The results of this study can be used as the guidelines for environment analysis before planning or redesign community.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)567-580
Number of pages14
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Jun 1

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution


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