Tuning urban microclimate : A morpho-patch approach for multi-scale building group energy simulation

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Article number103516
Journal / PublicationSustainable Cities and Society
Online published29 Oct 2021
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2022


Building energy simulation is a powerful tool for developing sustainable and low-emission urban built environments. The conventional simulation model relies on the climate conditions of the entire city that are measured by few weather stations. However, due to urban morphologies, natural conditions, and man-made structures, microclimate conditions vary across geographic locations. This results in unrealistic and unreliable simulation outputs and failure to properly support urban sustainability decision-making. To fill this gap, this study proposed a microclimate tuning approach based on the morphological analysis of local buildings and green land. The proposed tuning approach implements a morpho-patch as the analyzing unit to incorporate various morphological conditions for localized microclimate estimation. Extending the urban weather generator model, the inter-building effects are introduced in the urban canopy component computation and a unique microclimate weather conditions for each patch can be computed. To illustrate the proposed model, this study t simulated the energy dynamic of the entire city of Tucson [AZ, USA] using the proposed model. The results suggested that the root mean square temperature differences between using the single weather conditions and the tunned microclimates can be up to 2.49 °C. For one sample patch, this difference in underestimation of cooling energy demand by 6.69 MW•h in June and overestimation of the heating energy demand by 7.85 MW•h in November. Thus, the proposed method provides more accurate and realistic microclimate estimation for large-scale energy dynamic simulation for cities.

Research Area(s)

  • Building energy dynamics, Energy simulation, Microclimate, Morpho-patch, Urban building morphology