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Open AccessConcept Paper
Peer-Review Record

The Green Structure for Outdoor Places in Dry, Hot Regions and Seasons—Providing Human Thermal Comfort in Sustainable Cities

Energies 2020, 13(11), 2755;
Reviewer 1: Anonymous
Reviewer 2: Francesca Poggi
Reviewer 3: Anonymous
Reviewer 4: Anonymous
Energies 2020, 13(11), 2755;
Received: 22 April 2020 / Revised: 19 May 2020 / Accepted: 22 May 2020 / Published: 1 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Energy and Buildings)

Round 1

Reviewer 1 Report

-please describe better the role of the temperature and relative humidity values of the two survey stations considered: where are they in relation to the GS site? altitude, orography etc. what are these data used for? they are very different from the measured ones and the simulated ones

-why didn't you put a weather station outside the GS? would have given comparable data, it is not clear what the degree of GS influence is in the surrounding space

-it would be good to add a plan of the area where the GS is inserted to understand the dimensional relationships

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 2 Report

The paper presents a concept of green structure, which is a new structural proposition of plants utilization for urban residents thermal comfort. Authors assess a pilot project in Wrocław (Poland) according to an empirical analysis (sensors) and then a dynamic simulation (TRNSYS).

Conceptually, the topic presented is important and should be of some interest to the readers of this journal, but there are some flaws both in organization quality, scientific sound and contents coherency. Major problems are presented as follows, as well as some suggestions for the improvements of the manuscript.

The introduction is too weak, becoming less attractive to the journal readers. For example, the mention to Air conditioning as it has been described, it is out of topic. The research framework could call for some AC concerns linking interior thermal comfort and energy consumption. However, this argument has to be related to a concise description of the green structure for outdoor places within the context of building solutions, namely, green roof or facades and other kind of structure that may in some way benefits interior thermal comfort.

In other words, introduction has to be improved with a more concise state of the art able to orient the reader thought the context, aims and methodologic issues associated with the research.

As authors provide a new concept, this has to be rooted in a literature review, to demonstrate the novelty, relevance, credibility and originality as well as highlight existing gaps in the field.

There are innumerous works on green structures in public spaces which are a unique opportunity to contextualize the pilot project within core issues such as bioclimatic design, mitigation of urban heat island, carbon sequestration etc. These aspects are generally mentioned but not discussed, limiting the scope of the whole study. Here, the references should be recent and covering a wider geographical area.

I strongly recommend to the authors to open up a new sub-section after the introduction, which describes the concept of green structure. This is important to keep the aims of the research comprehensible to scientists working outside the topic of the paper. In this way, section 2 should be focused only on method and materials and then present the case studied and the measurement in the following section on the results. It is core to explain why authors asses the pilot project, according to empirical analysis (sensors) and then a dynamic simulation (TRNSYS). And, why they adopt the Universal Thermal Comfort Index.

It would be important to present an image with the location of the case study to understand the urban and social context. How people use this green structure? Is there in a public space or in the proximity of some buildings? Does it provide some benefits in term of interior thermal comfort in the surrounding buildings as described in the introduction?

The discussion section (5) must reflect upon what the results mean, for example, within the local policy framework and urban design context. The comparison between empirical and simulated results is not clear.

I suggest that the authors should think about how the results can be useful or be applied in other regions that belong to classes from B to Cs. Linkages should be made on how to use the study in a broader sense and what are its limitations.

In section 6 (Conclusions) - the conclusion section is not sufficient enough to support all gathered data analysis, discussions and interpretations in the previously devised sections throughout the manuscript. The short descriptive summary of the research should be mentioned, and this should be followed by polishing main findings and future recommendations in scope of Energies journal.

More care also needs to be given to the wording in the entire manuscript, ensuring that the text is accurate and clear.

Keywords are missing, please add three to ten pertinent keywords.

References must be numbered in order of appearance in the text. The citation to Elzen & Wieczorek, 2005 has to be reviewed, as well as the enumeration of all the references.

Please eliminate those multiple references. After that, please check the manuscript thoroughly and remove ALL the lumps in the manuscript. This should be done by characterizing each reference individually. This can be done by mentioning 1 or 2 phrases per reference to show how it is different from the others and why it deserves mentioning.

Please place figure 1 after its description.

In figure 2, it would be better adding a legend than list the abbreviation in the explanatory title.

 In the reference to Shashua-Bar et al. please add the year.

As a result, I consider that the manuscript is not of enough quality to be publish in the Energies journal.

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 3 Report

In this study, the authors have investigated the performance of an earlier developed green structure to enhance human thermal comfort. Overall, the research problem is not clear. I request authors to justify their work for a significant novelty.  It is well known that greenery can reduce urban environment temperature by 1-2°C. So, this isn’t a new finding. In my opinion, you should discuss more the reproducibility of your green structure. What is its cost? How to install? How it will contribute to decarbonization? What I mean is that you need to justify the usefulness of this research with novelty.




  1. “Hot and dry climate and air pollution is a growing problem in urban areas, and this can be dangerous for life and health of urban residents.” – In this sentence, instead of writing “can be dangerous” can you please write “can have an adverse impact”. Otherwise can you please mention how dangerous it is.
  2. “Protect people and objects from harmful urban environment”- Similar to the first comment, can you use “adverse” instead of “harmful”.



  1. Literature reviews are not carefully done. The focus of literature should be on the outdoor thermal comfort and the influence of greenery over it. Some suggestions are 'Improvement of outdoor thermal comfort for residential development in Singapore', Effect of evapotranspiration on performance improvement, etc.



  1. In your study, you did you measured the Leaf Area Index? In this kind of study, it is important to do the characterization of the plant canopies.
  2. What was the water absorption capacity of soil?
  3. Have you tried to see the evapotranspiration on performance improvement due to the greenery?

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Reviewer 4 Report

There are some additional or lack of spaces in the text: "[1],  that" 

The keywords are not specified

Improve some English expressions: "what is more", "and is belongs", "what is more it is not", 

Figure 1: The meaning of the other abbreviations in the legend?

Chapter 2: A sketch of the Infinite Green objective with all the elements would be very useful 

Please correct the strikethrough in the text "the cold sky. Moreover, it", "discomfort at the same time."

Please insert comma: "after the sunset temperatures inside the structure" replaced with "after the sunset, temperatures inside the structure"

Why would be necessary to keep the heat during summer nights?

In the simulation chapter: Block diagram from software?

Row 285: please reconsider empathy in this expression "reduction as a result of evaporation cooling with constant empathy and the increase"

The expression "the cities (see Figs. 4 and 5)." could be replaced with "the cities (see Fig. 4 and Fig. 5)."

Chapter 5.2: What is the purpose of this system during nights? For this kind of applications (recreation areas, rest zones or bus stops), the people isn't present during nights.

Please verify the citation style in text and be consequent: i.e. "using TRNSYS with deployed dedicated models [55], [77], [78]" should be replaced "with using TRNSYS with deployed dedicated models [55, 77-78]", "quality [41], [69]–[71]." with "quality [41, 69–71]." etc.

You should use the same reference format for the entire paper. i.e. 

"socio-technical transition (Elzen & Wieczorek, 44 2005)." should contain brackets [] "socio-technical transition [ ? ]"

"the lower water usage, the more efficient a given solution is Shashua-Bar et al., have" should contain brackets [] "the lower water usage, the more efficient a given solution is presented in [63], have"

Author Response

Please see the attachment.

Author Response File: Author Response.docx

Round 2

Reviewer 2 Report

The manuscript has been improved and now I consider that it is suitable to be published.

Thank you for your efforts.

Reviewer 3 Report

Authors have successfully addressed all the comments. I wish authors for a  successful research.

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