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Assessing the Cooling Benefits of Tree Shade by an Outdoor Urban Physical Scale Model at Tempe, AZ

1
Spatial Analysis Research Center, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Tempe, AZ 85287, USA
2
School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment, Tempe, AZ 85281, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Urban Sci. 2018, 2(1), 4; https://doi.org/10.3390/urbansci2010004
Received: 11 November 2017 / Revised: 4 January 2018 / Accepted: 5 January 2018 / Published: 8 January 2018
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Abstract

Urban green infrastructure, especially shade trees, offers benefits to the urban residential environment by mitigating direct incoming solar radiation on building facades, particularly in hot settings. Understanding the impact of different tree locations and arrangements around residential properties has the potential to maximize cooling and can ultimately guide urban planners, designers, and homeowners on how to create the most sustainable urban environment. This research measures the cooling effect of tree shade on building facades through an outdoor urban physical scale model. The physical scale model is a simulated neighborhood consisting of an array of concrete cubes to represent houses with identical artificial trees. We tested and compared 10 different tree densities, locations, and arrangement scenarios in the physical scale model. The experimental results show that a single tree located at the southeast of the building can provide up to 2.3 °C hourly cooling benefits to east facade of the building. A two-tree cluster arrangement provides more cooling benefits (up to 6.6 °C hourly cooling benefits to the central facade) when trees are located near the south and southeast sides of the building. The research results confirm the cooling benefits of tree shade and the importance of wisely designing tree locations and arrangements in the built environment. View Full-Text
Keywords: tree location; tree density; geometric arrangement; tree shade cooling benefits; outdoor physical scale model; microclimate field measurement tree location; tree density; geometric arrangement; tree shade cooling benefits; outdoor physical scale model; microclimate field measurement
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Zhao, Q.; Yang, J.; Wang, Z.-H.; Wentz, E.A. Assessing the Cooling Benefits of Tree Shade by an Outdoor Urban Physical Scale Model at Tempe, AZ. Urban Sci. 2018, 2, 4.

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