How To Create Thermal Comfort at Lobby
My little baby is one of best (and honest) temperature sensor for me. He will cry when room is too hot or cold and sleep if everything is perfect. My baby suddenly cries when I just land on sofa. Clear signal for me to find comfort zone for him. After walking around for minutes, he finally stop produce sound of discomfort baby.
The most comfort area is lift lobby. Not at sofa or receptionist desk.
While trying to keep his eyes closed, I look the ceiling to find the supply air diffuser. The distribution of diffusers is not really proper (maybe) to accommodate architectural design. Big windows brings a lot of heat even the hotel is at Bandung which is cooler than Jakarta. Most of area is not really comfort that time (close to 12.00 AM).
How to make the better thermal comfort for lobby? Especially for high ceiling lobby for hotel or office. There are two ways to create good thermal comfort if we can not deal with architect for reducing windows or lowering the ceiling. Believe on me, dealing with architect is not easy.
First way is using complicated method called Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) to determine the velocity and temperature of each diffuser. After calculating air flow and determine supply air temperature, ducting size, diffuser size, volume damper and of course cooling capacity are critical subjects for balancing temperature everywhere. High velocity of supply air, lets say more than 5 ms ,can cause discomfort for someone. That is why amount of diffuser play vital role. If everything is perfectly installed according to CFD simulation, we will get uniform temperature everywhere.
Another way is using radiant cooling technology. Cold water pipe embedded into floor or ceiling to absorb heat from the lobby. It is like having room in the mountainous area, low temperature floor and wall keep the ambient temperature low. Air flow is still needed for fresh air and cover heat which is not absorbed by radiant surfaces.
Radiant cooling is likely more expensive and complicated in design or construction. But it will give better temperature uniformity and saving more energy. Feasibility study is important to decide which way is more effective in term of energy, initial cost or needs of building. Different lobby will give different result. One of my project focus on lobby and we decide to use radiant cooling after a lot of meeting.
I am curious to bring my baby to lobby with radiant cooling.