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Performance based approach for building indoor thermal comfort of naturally ventilated buildings in Sri Lanka

NRC Grant:  14-139

Prof. R. A. Attalage
Dept. of Mechanical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering
University of Moratuwa

Area of Research: Mechanical Engineering



a) Study the potential of using natural ventilation strategy for different climatic zones in Sri Lanka based on available weather data. 

b) Develop a mathematical model based on the relevant analytical framework governing the phenomena to simulate the velocity flow field and temperature distribution of naturally ventilated buildings using Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) techniques. 

c) Establish governing parameters of thermal comfort and study their influence using simulated results and transforming a result in to a suitable criteria for the quantification of indoor thermal comfort 

d) Validation of results by means of model testing and field testing. 

e) Development of a performance based guideline leading to a potential building code suitable for the country. 


Building use more than 50% of electricity generation in Sri Lanka.  Most of the energy required for the building operation is consumed by air conditioning and ventilation system of it.  Energy efficiency in designing and operating buildings can make a big contribution to CO2 emission reduction while achieving more than 50% cost of energy saving compared to existing buildings. This can be envisaged incorporating natural ventilation methods while maintaining acceptable indoor thermal comfort.  Proposed research will develop a sound scientific background to investigate thermal comfort in tropical climate motivate the building designer to use building energy simulation tools bringing modern technology in to a design stage.  The performance based building code developed under this project can be used to evaluate the thermal performance of the indoor environment of naturally ventilated buildings.  This will help to design and construct energy efficient buildings.  Labor department can use code to evaluate thermal comfort of the workers working in naturally ventilated buildings and Green building council can use this as a evaluation criteria in green building certification.