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Microclimate Analysis as a Design Driver of Architecture

KPMB Architects, Toronto, ON M5A 0L6, Canada
Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science, Ryerson University, Toronto, ON M5B 2K3, Canada
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Climate 2020, 8(6), 72;
Received: 20 April 2020 / Revised: 29 May 2020 / Accepted: 1 June 2020 / Published: 3 June 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Climate Dynamics and Modelling)
In the context of global climate change, it is increasingly important for architects to understand the effects of their interventions on indoor and outdoor thermal comfort. New microclimate analysis tools which are gaining appreciation among architects enable the assessment of different design options in terms of biometeorological parameters, such as the Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) and the Outdoor Thermal Comfort Autonomy. This paper reflects on some recent experiences of an architectural design office attempting to incorporate local climatic considerations as a design driver in projects. The investigation shows that most of the available tools for advanced climatic modelling have been developed for research purposes and are not optimized for architectural and urban design; consequently, they require adaptations and modifications to extend their functionality or to achieve interoperability with software commonly used by architects. For this scope, project-specific Python scripts used to extract design-consequential information from simulation results, as well as to construct meteorological boundary conditions for microclimate simulations, are presented. This study describes the obstacles encountered while implementing microclimate analysis in an architectural office and the measures taken to overcome them. Finally, the benefits of this form of analysis are discussed. View Full-Text
Keywords: urban microclimate; outdoor thermal comfort; universal thermal climate index; architecture; urban design urban microclimate; outdoor thermal comfort; universal thermal climate index; architecture; urban design
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Graham, J.; Berardi, U.; Turnbull, G.; McKaye, R. Microclimate Analysis as a Design Driver of Architecture. Climate 2020, 8, 72.

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