Maryam Siddiq M.Arch.(Energy & Environment); B.Arch (Hons)

Job Title:

PhD Research Student


Mackintosh School of Architecture



Empirical data and simulated results
Work by Maryam Siddiq

Empirical data and simulated results


Maryam Siddiq

Thermal Comfort as a Climatical and Cultural Variable: A Case Study of Lahore, Pakistan.

Supervisor: Dr Raid Hanna

The twentieth century technologies and universally available materials have greatly facilitated the trend towards homogeneity of the urban form across the globe. Often perceived as a symbol of progress and development, the adoption of developed world buildings and lifestyles by the developing world includes the unquestioning acceptance of comfort that is in most instances unsuitable to the climatic and indeed cultural conditions of these regions.

Thermal comfort is, in fact, a climatically and culturally sensitive parameter, with studies indicating the comfort temperature in hot-dry climates to be significantly higher than that of cold climates. Much of South Asia however continues to promote the comfort parameters formulated within developed regions of the world and has adopted ASHRAE guidelines designed for use within air-conditioned buildings. However maintaining ASHRAE recommended indoor conditions in the diverse climatic conditions of South Asia through passive or low-energy measures has proven to be problematic, and the result has been an increased dependence on mechanical air-conditioning: a situation that is untenable and unsustainable. The situation at present has resulted in the housing sector in Pakistan accounting for over 45% of the national energy consumption, compared to less than 25% in developed countries; a dire condition that requires immediate attention.

It is the intention of this research to address the discrepancies in comfort studies and practice and attempt to determine appropriate comfort-temperature for hot-dry climatic regions of Pakistan. It shall also attempt to show that such comfort-temperatures shall be achievable in residential structures through passive and low-energy measures, increasing thermal efficiency and reducing the energy consumption of residential structures to a very large extent.