EFFECTIVE ENERGY UTILIZATION IN THE PROPOSED INDOOR SPORT
Modern buildings evolved from the rudimentary concept of shelter from the
elements of climate. Effective climate control is therefore central to the suitability of any
building. This study examines the magnitude of the influence of design variables that
may mitigate discomfort in the proposed Indoor Sport Hall. It will asses the additional
cost that may incure in running the proposed building vis-à-vis the worsening global
energy crises and in particular, the like in energy cost in Nigeria.
Representative samples of buildings with different architectural design
characteristics and construction materials across the three broad geographical regions of
Nigeria are assessed and compared, based on effective energy conservation. Also, related
building occupants Representative samples of buildings with different architectural
design characteristics and construction materials across the three broad geographical
regions of Nigeria are assessed and compared based on effective energy conservation.
Also, related building occupants across the three basic income strata are interviewed on
the comfort level of their respective types of buildings and the energy cost of running
The study reveals that architectural design and construction materials influence
building micro-climate remarkably, thereby, influencing the cost of requisite energy for
micro-climate control. Recommendations on possible means of achieving efficient energy
utilization in buildings for improved quality of life are stated.
A building is a shelter from rain, sun and wind. Good architecture merges this
with proper proportions and fine details (Ware, 1900). Historically, architectural forms
have largely resulted from man’s struggle with adverse climate conditions; however,
today’s technology control of micro-climate has led to the disappearance of distinct
regional types of architecture (Kemper, 1979). These clearly show that climate is central
to building design and construction and can be regarded as the most basic and
fundamental factor, while artificial energy input is highly essential in mitigating its
Climate can be defined as the prevailing atmosphere/weather conditions steadily
occurring over an expanse of land, usually very large (Udo, 1970). The major indices of
climate are temperature rainfall, humidity and air movement (fig A). Substantial control
of micro-climate can be achieved through the proper manipulation of elements like
thermal mass, shading devices, building orientation type and size of fenestration and the
choice of materials (fig B). However, for the achievement of the ‘perfect’ micro-climate,
mechanical gadgets/equipment like air-conditioners, heaters and fans are required. This
equipment requires artificial energy input like electricity and/or fuel-oil. It is necessary to
keep this energy requirement to the minimum level, particularly in Nigeria where
electricity supply is crassly erratic and the cost of fuel-oil increases annually.
Markus and Morris (1980) express that the building is not an inert mass of stone,
concrete and/or iron; it is almost a living body, with its own blood circulation and
nervous systems. In its walls, which appear so immobile, circulate gasses, and
fluids/liquids, through flues, pipes and wires which are the arteries and veins which
conduct heat, cold and fresh air with energy supplies through natural and artificial means.
The combination of the building carcass with efficient energy system is therefore
fundamental in the production and well being of any building and perhaps the well being
of its owner(s).
The characteristics of traditional architectural design in Nigeria were determined
by the natural conditions of the given area, most of all by the climate and available
building materials (Dmochowski, 1990) and houses were tailored to the needs of the
people (Denyer, 1978), thereby requiring only minimal artificial energy input. On the
contrary, building design and construction in contemporary times in Nigeria as evident in
the numerous buildings around are known for superfluous use of foreign, materials and
alien design concept in the craze for flamboyant aesthetics and grandeur, at the expense
of functionality and cost efficiency.
Thomas (1979) avers that the history of buildings in Nigeria can be seen to
encourage energy conversation, primarily due to a dearth of energy and technological
disadvantage. At the end of the colonial era, traditional buildings had started giving way
to European building patterns which sought to conserve heat and limit the entrance of
cool air contrary to the reality in Nigeria where heat ought to be dissipated through
constant flow of sufficient air. These buildings create uncomfortable micro-climate which
requires huge energy input for cooling and lighting, consuming large sums of money in
energy cost. Unfortunately, according to Knight (1979), all energy used on creating
micro-climate in buildings is wasted. It disappears through windows and building fabric,
compared to the energy used in manufactures which produces tangible end products.
The gravity of the situation is underscored by Clarson (1979) stating that the
average energy costs of running our buildings today represent 5% of our personal energy
consumption and about 3% of industrial turnover. When translated into currency, this will
amount to several millions of naira per annum. Makus and Morris (1980) paint a grimmer
picture stating that house lighting, fuel and power expenditure represent between 3% ( for
the wealthiest) and 10% (for the poorest) of family income in Britain.
The energy problems of developing countries and the deepening poverty in most
urban centres which are now evolving, not in the developed world but in developing
countries without and commensurate economic or developmental growth (Mabogunje,
2001)require close attention to the issue of energy conservation in buildings.
Table 1 buttresses these facts as it shows that electricity consumption in Nigeria
between 1994 and 1998 steadily declined. Unfortunately, this was not due to a fall in
demand; rather, it was due to the declining supply occasioned by the gross inefficiency of
the Power Holding Corporation of Nigeria (PHCN). Electricity supply can therefore be
said to be available to an insignificant proportion of Nigeria.
There is need for man to live in an environment that is conducive for living,
working, worshiping, and recreation and has necessary aesthetic qualities.
To achieve such a balanced environment, provisions must be made for effective
Energy Utilization in the building.
Table 1: Electricity Consumption in Nigeria KWH
1994 1995 1996 1997 1998
Industrial 2,042,100 2,037,211 2,061,440 1,897,360 1,854,613
Commercial 2,519,176 2,448,877 2,452,758 2,424,061 2,307,855
Residential 5,032,574 4,949,818, 4,527,563 4,521,762 4,358,751
Total 9,593,850 9,435,906 9,041,761 8,843,183 8,521,219
AIMS AND OBJECTIVES
The aims and objectives of this paper is to give an alternative to artificial energy
that has proved of not effective in most of the buildings of which this research has been
conducted in Lagos, Abuja and Kano. The decline in electricity supply resuscitates the
need to develop buildings which will conserve energy naturally and reduce the need for
artificial energy input to the minimum.
SCOPE AND LIMITATION ON HUMAN COMFORT
Kemper (1979) states that a healthy human body maintains a constant inner body
temperature of around 37oC/98oF. Although the body can be trained to maintain its
temperature in extreme climate conditions, most people have discomfort at temperature
below 15.5oC/60oF and above 29.5oC/85oF. High humidity adds more discomfort in hot
weather as well as in the cold. Natural sensitivity to temperature and humidity varies
slightly from person to person. People’s comfort zones also vary with the different
climate zones on the planet. In temperatures below the comfort zone, people require
warmth/heating while they require cooling at temperatures above it. Relative humidity
above 60% is considered too high and requires sufficient air movement, either naturally
Table 2 shows a comparative assessment of the climate conditions in the three
major geographical zones of Nigeria in relation to the maximum tolerable condition.
Table 2: Comparative Assessment of Climate Conditions in Nigeria
Town Maximum Threshold Maximum Threshold
Temp (oC) Temp (oC) R. Humidity % R. Humidity
Lagos 30.7 29.5 98 60
Lokoja 32.3 29.5 70 60
Kano 33.1 29.5 60 60
Table 2 clearly reveals that natural climate conditions in Nigeria do not meet
suitable human comfort requirement. It is therefore necessary to control the
micro-climate in buildings through natural and mechanical means to achieve comfort.
Table 4 represent a broad categorization of conditions under which mechanical cooling
may be required to achieve comfort in buildings.
Table 3: Conditions under which Mechanical Cooling may be necessary to Achieve
Form of Cooling Conditions Temperature Relative Humidity %
Evaporative Cooling 35 – 37 Below 35%
*37 – 40 Below 25%
Air Cooling 35 – 37.5 0 – 60%
*37.5 – 40 20 – 50%
*40 – 42.5 0 – 45%
*42.5 – 45 0 – 40%
Air Cooling and de- 31 – 33 above 85%
humidification *33 – 35 above 70%
*35 – 37.5 above 60%
*37.5 – 40 above 50%
*40 - 45 above 40%
* Indicates excessive discomfort
Source: Housing Climate and Comfort (Evans, 1980)
EXPECTED CONTRIBUTION TO KNOWLEDGE
Thomas (1979) opines that traditional building pattern and planning in Nigeria
complements conservation due to the limited energy resources. In rural areas, building
shapes, forms and functions are still very traditional. Buildings are still being constructed
with predominantly clay mud, which cools the building naturally in the hot season and
warms it in the cold season that is, allow the building fabric to ‘breathe’. The deep roof
overhangs of traditional/pre-colonial buildings provide adequate shade for the building
envelope and internal spaces, thereby requiring minimum artificial energy input (fig).
At the advent of the colonial masters, buildings became refined, though; basic
respect for functionality and energy conservation was maintained. The colonial
buildings adopted traditional materials in refined form. Wood was especially used
extensively for floors, roofs stairs, and windows, and so on in contrast to contemporary
preference for concrete, steel and glass. Energy conservation was paramount as
residential quarters were built with two kitchens, one deriving its energy requirements
from wood, the other from the limited electrical source generated then from coal. The
rooms were well ventilated by providing large areas of fenestration for cross ventilation
with moveable wooden louvers which were entire storey high. These also served other
roles of admitting high proportion of natural lighting, thereby, further reducing the
artificial energy requirement for lighting. Thomas (1979) adds that statutory planning
permission was based on these requirements, unlike today.
The end of colonial rule, inadvertently coincided with the discovery of oil in
Nigeria and the attendant haste for development in the oil boom era brought about the
construction of many buildings rapidly. Post-colonial buildings were characterized by
excessive use of foreign building materials and the designs necessitated very high energy
requirements for micro-climate control and lighting. In the quest for modernization and
status-symbol, many of the contemporary buildings can not function at all, without
artificial energy. Such buildings include among others: the National Theatre, Lagos, and
Federal Secretariat Complex, Abuja and the Nicon-Hilton Hotel, Abuja and many others.
These buildings which were produced in defiant disregard for the original statutory
standards and regulations governing natural ventilation and lighting unfortunately got the
approval of the respective planning authorities.
ENERGY CONSERVATION AND CLIMATE
Markus and Mosrris (1980) state that the energy consumption in buildings is
related to the natural energy system, that is, the climate in which buildings are located, as
well as to the properties of the shelter itself. Even the dispersion of wastes and pollution
in and around buildings is a climate dependent phenomenon. Kemper (1979) states that
building design has two basic considerations: One is oriented towards human purpose and
other towards the physical environment, and architects and planners can strongly
influence energy usage through their designs.
For efficient energy utilization in buildings, therefore, good understanding of
climate and its features is a sine-qua-non for ensuring that it is well manipulated to
advantage while concomitantly raising comfort and health standards.
Hornby (1998) defines climate as the regular pattern of weather conditions, that is
temperature, humidity and air movement of a particular area. Udo (1970) defines it as the
prevailing atmosphere/weather conditions steadily occurring over an expanse of land,
usually very large. The earth is divided into different climatic zones, usually as a direct
function of location on the globe, that is, latitude, attitude above the sea level, distance
from the oceans and the condition of the particular ocean, and they are usually
distinguished by varying vegetation forms.
Micro-climate refers to peculiar conditions of general climate over a locality, a
relatively smaller portion of the climate zone (Kemper, 1979). In addition to air
movement variations created by urban forms, factors of elevation, topography, water
bodies (natural and manmade) create peculiar micro-climate. Conditions within building
enclosures can also be referred to as micro-climate of interior spaces.
Table 4: Major Climate Zones and the Respective Features
Zone Location Temperature Rainfall
1. Warm Humid/Tropical 15oN – 15oS high Fairly High
2. Sub-Tropical 25o - 45oN and High High
SWest East Coast
3. Hot Dry (Desert) 15o - 30o N Very high Very low
4. Maritime Desert 15o - 30o N High Low
Source: Geographical Regions of Nigeria (Udo, 1970)
The climate type in Nigeria is categorized as Tropical Warm and Humid (Udo, 1970),
characterized by high temperature and very high humidity – the two major causes of
discomfort in the tropics. Table 2 presents climatic data for the three broad geographical
regions of Nigeria, represented by a city each.
Table 5: Meteorological Data for the Three Geographical Zones of Nigeria
Elements Lagos Lokoja Kano
Southern Zone Central Zone Northern Zone
Rainfall (cm) 182 122 83.8
(oC) Max 30.7 32.3 33.1
Min 21.8 22.2 19.2
% Max 98 70 60
Min 73 41 32
Source: Meteorological Centre, Lagos (1990)
DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION
Table 6: Level of Comfort in Buildings Constructed with Different
Materials, without the use of Mechanical Equipment
Materials Comfort level
Morning Afternoon Night Total
Mud 2 1 2 5
Brick 2 1 1 4
Sandcrete block 1 0 1 2
Wood 2 0 1 3
Glass 0 0 0 0
Source: Authors’ Fieldwork
2 = Very Comfortable
1 = Fairly Comfortable
0 = Uncomfortable
Table 6 reveals that construction materials influence the level of comfort in
buildings substantially. Mud wall is presented here as the most favourable for suitable
micro-climate in buildings. This could be due to the fact that it absorbs heat very slowly
and ‘breath’, dissipating acquired heat into the cold night, thereby preserving stable
temperature within building enclose. Sandcrete block wall which is the most extensively
used in Nigeria’s urban areas today is presented here as performing below average in
terms of providing comfortable micro-climate. Glass is shown to be the worst materials
for walls in the Nigeria climate as it traps all the heat absorbed in the building enclosure,
creating a local ‘green-house effect’.
Since heat is the major cause of discomfort in the Nigeria climate, a comparative
analysis of the room temperature of buildings of various design characteristics taken at
12.00 noon was conducted to assess the impact of design on the energy requirement of
buildings for comfortable micro-climate.
Table 7: Average Room Temperature of Different Design Forms
No Room Characteristics (4m x 4m) Av. Temp(oC) Av. Temp (oC)
Southern Nig. Northern Nig.
1. Deep roof overhang providing shade
for external walls
(a) With Cross ventilation Storey – high
(2.4m) windows 27.5 33.3
(b) With Cross Ventilation: 1.2m high
windows 30.0 32.1
(c) No cross ventilation: window on
only one side 31.2 34.7
2 Minimum roof projection, exposing
external walls to direct sun ray
(a) With cross ventilation: storey – high
(2.4m) window 29.8 34.8
(b) With cross ventilation: 1.2m high
windows 30.9 33.0
(c) No cross ventilation: window on
only one side 32.0 35.6
Source: Authors’ Fieldwork
Table 7 reveals that building with deep roof overhang have general lower room
temperature which varies according to other design characteristics. It can be seen that
extensive roof projection is effective in reducing discomfort in buildings both in the
Southern and Northern parts of the country, thereby, reducing the amount of artificial
energy required for cooling.
It is also observed that the provision of cross-ventilation substantially reduces
room temperature across the two extreme geographic regions of Nigeria. Adequate
provision of cross-ventilation can therefore be adopted to achieve comfortable
micro-climate thereby saving energy cost.
The adoption of storey-high windows is observed to be very effective in reducing
room temperature in the southern zone of the country. Actually, room temperature of
only 27.5o C (which is comfortable for a normal healthy person, without mechanical
cooling) was recorded compared to 30.0o C for a room of the same size with the prevalent
1.3m high window. However, the same cannot be said of the Northern zone. This may be
attributed to the very hot air in the environment, which could raise the room temperature
rather than reduce it, when the inflow is high.
By this study, it is evident that the manipulation of design characteristics like
shading device, choice of materials, type and size of openings and thermal mass can be
skillfully manipulated to create comfortable micro-climate in buildings, thereby ensuring
efficient energy utilization in buildings.
THE EXPECTED RESULT
The cost of energy consumed in creating suitable micro-climate in buildings in
Nigeria is too high, being a developing country with gross domestic product (GDP)
which ranks among the world’s poorest (UNDP, 2002).
The situation must therefore be immediately redressed. The following are
recommendations on the means to achieve this:
1. Proper orientation of buildings to reduce the impact of unfovourable
2. Efficient building shape and adequate shading of building envelope
3. Adequate and efficient fenestration for proper air movement
4. Use of climate-responsive and locally available building materials.
5. Creation of conducive micro-climate in the immediate environment of
buildings through the provision of outdoor water bodies like pools, pond
and fountains and extensive vegetation cover to reduce heat and glare in
the immediate environment.
1. Agagu, O. (2002). Developments in the Electric Power Sector (May 199 – April
2002). Paper delivered at the 2002 Media Summit on Power,
2. Kemper, A. (1979). Architectural Handbook. McGraw Hill, New York
3. Lukeman, R. (2002) Moves to end gas flaring. The Guardian, Lagos, 6 Aug, Pg.
4. Clarson, D. (1979). Financial aspects in Ove Arup Partnership (Eds.) Building
Design for Energy Economy. The Construction Press,
5. The Environ-scope: A Multidisciplinary Journal Vol. No. 1 PP. 37 – 43
By OLAYEMI Ajibola Oladpo (M.Tech. 1)