Effect of roof colour on indoor temperature and human comfort levels, with implications for malaria control: a pilot study using experimental houses in rural Gambia
Carrasco-Tenezaca, Majo; Jatta, Ebrima; Jawara, Musa; Bradley, John; Pinder, Margaret; D’Alessandro, Umberto; Knudsen, Jakob; Lindsay, Steve W.
Professor Steve Lindsay firstname.lastname@example.org
Background In rural sub-Saharan Africa, thatch roofs are being replaced by metal roofs. Metal roofing, however, increases indoor temperatures above human comfort levels, and thus makes it more likely that residents will not use an insecticide-treated bed net (ITN) at night. Whether the colour of a metal roof affects indoor temperature and human comfort was assessed. Methods Two identical, experimental houses were constructed with metal roofs in rural Gambia. Roof types were: (1) original bare-metal, (2) painted with red oxide primer or (3) white gloss, to reflect solar radiation. Pairwise comparisons were run in six, five-night blocks during the malaria season 2018. Indoor climate was measured in each house and multivariate analysis used to compare indoor temperatures during the day and night. Results From 21.00 to 23.59 h, when most residents decide whether to use an ITN or not, the indoor temperature of a house with a bare metal roof was 31.5 °C (95% CI 31.2–31.8 °C), a red roof, 30.3 °C (95% CI 30.0–30.6) and a white roof, 29.8 °C (95% CI 29.4–30.1). During the same period, red-roofed houses were 1.23 °C cooler (95% CI 1.22–1.23) and white roofs 1.74 °C cooler (95% CI 1.70–1.79) than bare-metal roofed houses (p < 0.001). Similar results were found from 00.00 to 06.00 h. Maximum daily temperatures were 0.93 °C lower in a white-roofed house (95% CI 0.10–0.30, p < 0.001), but not a red roof (mean maximum temperature difference = 0.44 °C warmer, 95% CI 0.43–0.45, p = 0.081), compared with the bare-metal roofed houses. Human comfort analysis showed that from 21.00 to 23.59 h houses with white roofs (comfortable for 87% time) were more comfortable than bare-metal roofed houses (comfortable for 13% time; odds ratio = 43.7, 95% CI 27.5–69.5, p < 0.001). The cost of painting a metal roof white is approximately 31–68 USD. Conclusions Houses with a white roof were consistently cooler and more comfortable than those with a bare metal roof. Painting the roofs of houses white is a cheap way of making a dwelling more comfortable for the occupants and could potentially increase bed net use in hot humid countries.
Carrasco-Tenezaca, M., Jatta, E., Jawara, M., Bradley, J., Pinder, M., D’Alessandro, U., …Lindsay, S. W. (2021). Effect of roof colour on indoor temperature and human comfort levels, with implications for malaria control: a pilot study using experimental houses in rural Gambia. Malaria Journal, 20(1), Article 423. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12936-021-03951-4
|Journal Article Type||Article|
|Acceptance Date||Oct 13, 2021|
|Online Publication Date||Oct 29, 2021|
|Deposit Date||Nov 9, 2021|
|Publicly Available Date||Dec 16, 2021|
|Peer Reviewed||Peer Reviewed|
Published Journal Article
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