USING SIMULATION TOOLS IN A UNIVERSITY LABORATORY COURSE: ASSESSING THE PERFORMANCE OF A HEALTH-CARE CENTER IN LUSAKA , ZAMBIA
Leslie K. Norford
As part of a building-technology laboratory class, students were asked to evaluate the performance of a proposed health-care center for Lusaka, Zambia. The building was designed to be constructed at modest cost, operated at very low cost and as independently as possible of utility services, and comfortable throughout the year with no active heating or cooling. The evaluation consisted of a combination of scale-model measurements and simulation. Daylighting was simulated with a simple CAD model and a radiosity- based program, with attention to surface properties. Wind-driven airflows were measured in a 1:24 scale model of the cluster of buildings that comprise the health-care center, converted to air-change rates, and scaled to the full-size buildings. Buoyancy-driven flows were simulated in a nodal-analysis program. Airflow rates were imported into a one-node dynamic thermal-analysis program to estimate diurnal temperatures and evaluate thermal comfort. Retention of rainwater for use in toilets, evaporative cooling of ventilation air, and generation of electricity from photovoltaic panels were also calculated. Results indicated that interior spaces were generally well lit during daylight hours and that peak indoor temperatures were no higher than the outdoor peak values, which vary from 21 to 30 oC seasonally.
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