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Open AccessArticle

Impacts of Microclimate Conditions on the Energy Performance of Buildings in Urban Areas

by Kavan Javanroodi 1,* and Vahid M. Nik 1,2,3
1
Division of Building Physics, Department of Building and Environmental Technology, Lund University, SE-223 63 Lund, Sweden
2
Division of Building Technology, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Chalmers University of Technology, SE-412 96 Gothenburg, Sweden
3
Institute for Future Environments, Queensland University of Technology, Box 2434, Brisbane, QLD 4001, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Buildings 2019, 9(8), 189; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings9080189
Received: 30 June 2019 / Revised: 7 August 2019 / Accepted: 14 August 2019 / Published: 16 August 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bioclimatic Design of Buildings for the Future Conditions)
Urbanization trends have changed the morphology of cities in the past decades. Complex urban areas with wide variations in built density, layout typology, and architectural form have resulted in more complicated microclimate conditions. Microclimate conditions affect the energy performance of buildings and bioclimatic design strategies as well as a high number of engineering applications. However, commercial energy simulation engines that utilize widely-available mesoscale weather data tend to underestimate these impacts. These weather files, which represent typical weather conditions at a location, are mostly based on long-term metrological observations and fail to consider extreme conditions in their calculation. This paper aims to evaluate the impacts of hourly microclimate data in typical and extreme climate conditions on the energy performance of an office building in two different urban areas. Results showed that the urban morphology can reduce the wind speed by 27% and amplify air temperature by more than 14%. Using microclimate data, the calculated outside surface temperature, operating temperature and total energy demand of buildings were notably different to those obtained using typical regional climate model (RCM)–climate data or available weather files (Typical Meteorological Year or TMY), i.e., by 61%, 7%, and 21%, respectively. The difference in the hourly peak demand during extreme weather conditions was around 13%. The impact of urban density and the final height of buildings on the results are discussed at the end of the paper. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban microclimate; extreme weather conditions; energy performance; urban areas; CFD simulations urban microclimate; extreme weather conditions; energy performance; urban areas; CFD simulations
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Javanroodi, K.; Nik, V.M. Impacts of Microclimate Conditions on the Energy Performance of Buildings in Urban Areas. Buildings 2019, 9, 189.

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