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Sustainability 2017, 9(6), 987; doi:10.3390/su9060987

Evaluating Urban Forms for Comparison Studies in the Massing Design Stage

CENSAM, Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology, Singapore 138602, Singapore
Department of Architecture, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 11 April 2017 / Revised: 30 May 2017 / Accepted: 6 June 2017 / Published: 8 June 2017
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Architecture and Design)
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We introduce five performance indicators to facilitate the comparison of urban massing design in the early design stages. The five simple indicators are based on existing studies and cover three main performance areas that are sensitive to urban form changes: solar, ventilation, and connectivity potentials. The first three indicators—the non-solar heated façade to floor area index, daylight façade to floor area index, and photovoltaics envelope to floor area index—measure the solar potential. The frontal area index measures the ventilation potential and the route-directness index measures the connectivity potential. The indicators are simple to use, as they only require urban geometry data for their calculation. We demonstrate the indicators in two case studies; variations in the values of these indicators show that they are sensitive to urban form changes and can be used in comparative studies to identify better performing urban forms among massing designs. We implement the indicators as an open-source Python library, Pyliburo, that designers and researchers can readily access and integrate into their existing design workflows. View Full-Text
Keywords: performance-based urban design; performance indicators; connectivity; urban ventilation; solar analysis performance-based urban design; performance indicators; connectivity; urban ventilation; solar analysis

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Chen, K.W.; Norford, L. Evaluating Urban Forms for Comparison Studies in the Massing Design Stage. Sustainability 2017, 9, 987.

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