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The Scientific World Journal
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 621095, 9 pages
Research Article

Effects of Thermal Mass, Window Size, and Night-Time Ventilation on Peak Indoor Air Temperature in the Warm-Humid Climate of Ghana

1College of Architecture and Planning, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana
2College of Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, Ghana

Received 13 March 2013; Accepted 26 May 2013

Academic Editors: A. J. N. Khalifa and A. Klimenko

Copyright © 2013 S. Amos-Abanyie et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Most office buildings in the warm-humid sub-Saharan countries experience high cooling load because of the predominant use of sandcrete blocks which are of low thermal mass in construction and extensive use of glazing. Relatively, low night-time temperatures are not harnessed in cooling buildings because office openings remain closed after work hours. An optimization was performed through a sensitivity analysis-based simulation, using the Energy Plus (E+) simulation software to assess the effects of thermal mass, window size, and night ventilation on peak indoor air temperature (PIAT). An experimental system was designed based on the features of the most promising simulation model, constructed and monitored, and the experimental data used to validate the simulation model. The results show that an optimization of thermal mass and window size coupled with activation of night-time ventilation provides a synergistic effect to obtain reduced peak indoor air temperature. An expression that predicts, indoor maximum temperature has been derived for models of various thermal masses.