Simulation-Informed Urban Design: Improving Urban Microclimate in Real-World Practice in a High Density City

Jianxiang Huang, Tongping Hao, Shan Shan Hou, Phil Jones
2019 IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environment  
In many dense cities, urban heat and the interaction of buildings with their immediate urban environment emerges as a pressing issue due to growing urban heat island effect and climate change. Informed evidence based design decisions to mitigate heat stress becomes a priority for urban planning and design practitioners. The aim of the study is to develop informed design and development decisions using computer simulation tools concerning urban microclimate performance. In this study, academic
more » ... searchers have worked with industrial partners in an urban renewal project in Hong Kong's high density urban area. In-house developed simulation software such as CityComfort+ and HTB2-Virvil were applied to assess urban microclimate conditions and risks of pedestrian thermal stress throughout key seasons. Simulation results were provided as feedback to project designers and managers at early stage, allowing timely design modification to improve performance while maintaining code compliance and design and fiscal priorities. The procedure is iterative until performance attributes converge. Preliminary results show that the informed design can deliver significant microclimate benefits compared with "business-as-usual scenarios". By shaping building mass, orientation, and strategic placement of shading and vegetation, the improved design is expected to reduce summer-time outdoor heat stress by 1°C measured in UTCI equivalent temperature, thus bringing the average conditions for the hot season into the "comfort zone" for the local community. Energy simulation can predict overall energy demand and the potential for renewable energy supply at an urban scale. The simulation-designer workflow shows promising potentials to improve urban microclimate performance of design outcomes and the potential for zero carbon urban blocks. The early-stage action, forward-looking partnership, and computing efficiency of the simulation tools are the keys.
doi:10.1088/1755-1315/329/1/012047 fatcat:zwastby4gjhp5bbh7ypcvc74jm