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Effects of Outdoor Thermal Environment upon the Human Responses

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Document pages: 29 pages

Abstract: In a summer outdoor space, the influence of short-wave length solar radiation on the human body is strongly apparent, heat is retained in the body, and the risk of heat disorders such as heat stroke increases. To avoid this, it is essential to seek shade to avoid the influence of short-wave length solar radiation. In addition, natural ground surfaces such as green spaces and water surfaces are useful in reducing the air temperature. It is indispensable to consider climate mitigation effect of outdoor space. The purpose of this study is to clarify the influence of the thermal environment of an outdoor space on the human body in rural and suburban regions where paddy fields remain. Subject experiments were conducted to examine the relationship between the thermal environment evaluation index enhanced conduction-corrected modified effective temperature (ETFe) in an outdoor space and the physiological and psychological responses of the human body. Experiment sites were selected with consideration for the natural ground surface such as bare ground where the surface is gravel or soil; paved ground such as concrete, asphalt or blocks; green areas covered in plants; and water surfaces, as well as the sky factor due to buildings or trees etc. and the proportion of the solid angle of components of greenery and water etc. comprising the solid angle of the total celestial sphere. A ground surface feature with a high heat capacity may promote sensation of hot and deteriorate the thermal sensation. A landscape of thick vegetation with a high green factor may have a strong feeling of confinement, which can make it somewhat hot and somewhat uncomfortable thermal environment due to the sense of stagnation. Compared with the urban environment, it is conceivable that the difference in the perceptual environment, whereby it is subconsciously assumed to be a comfortable thermal environment, had an effect in the rural and suburban regional environment, resulting in an ETFe lower than the upper limit of comfort in a summer urban environment.

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