Special Issue "Interaction between Urban Microclimates and the Buildings"

A special issue of Atmosphere (ISSN 2073-4433). This special issue belongs to the section "Climatology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (4 September 2020).

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Emmanuel Bozonnet
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Ingénieur pour l’Environnement, Université de La Rochelle, 17000 La Rochelle, France
Interests: urban heat island; building energy; cool roof; green roof
Prof. Dr. Christian Inard
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Laboratoire des Sciences de l’Ingénieur pour l’Environnement, Université de La Rochelle, 17000 La Rochelle, France
Interests: design of low energy buildings; indoor thermal comfort and air quality; urban microclimate modelling
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are looking forward to your contribution to this Special Issue on the interaction between urban microclimates and the buildings to answer new environmental challenges and scientific problems.

In the context of urban population growth, maintaining or developing a sustainable environment is a scientific challenge including questions about modelling and understanding interactions between urban microclimates and buildings. From urban atmosphere and air pollution fields over the last 50 years, an increasing number of studies have focused on urban heat island (UHI) effects. The urban microclimate is strongly linked to modified urban surfaces, including the design or the use of buildings and districts. Indoor and outdoor space design impact thermal stress, especially in the context of increasing heatwave risks.

This Special Issue will present new tools or knowledge to better assess the coupling effects between buildings and the urban atmosphere, and include innovative UHI mitigation strategies. The proposed papers could cover, but are not limited to, various spatial scales from city to street or building zones, energy and environmental challenges, urban cooling techniques from the district layout to the building component or material design, as well as key performance indicators or decision support criteria for better urban design.

Dr. Emmanuel Bozonnet
Prof. Dr. Christian Inard
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Urban microclimate
  • Urban heat island
  • Building physics
  • Passive cooling
  • Building energy

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Article
Study on Riparian Shading Envelope for Wetlands to Create Desirable Urban Bioclimates
Atmosphere 2020, 11(12), 1348; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11121348 - 12 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 552
Abstract
Climate change and rapid urbanization are adversely affecting the urban environment by exacerbating the widely reported urban heat island effect in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Two wetland areas with variable riparian shadings in the warm-humid conditions of urban Dhaka were investigated through field campaigns on [...] Read more.
Climate change and rapid urbanization are adversely affecting the urban environment by exacerbating the widely reported urban heat island effect in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Two wetland areas with variable riparian shadings in the warm-humid conditions of urban Dhaka were investigated through field campaigns on microclimatic parameters for their cooling potential on the surrounding urban fabric. It was observed that an inversion layer of fully saturated air develops over the water surface of wetland, suppressing evaporation from the wetland water surface layer, which was effectively reducing the heat exchange between the water surface and the air layer above it through its action as an insulating vapor blanket. Due to this effect, the wetland was unable to render as a source of coolth for the surrounding overheated urban area. This effect of the inversion layer was more pronounced in the urban wetland without riparian shading either by the urban form or tree canopy. A multiphysics simulation study conducted on the selected urban wetlands indicates the effect of differential shading pattern on the relation between fetch and inversion layer thickness. This research hypothesizes that the wetland can act as an urban adaption measure against the urban heat island effect by potentially transforming them into an urban cooling island (UCI) towards a favorable urban bioclimate. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction between Urban Microclimates and the Buildings)
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Article
Comparison of Urban Heat Island Intensity Estimation Methods Using Urbanized WRF in Berlin, Germany
Atmosphere 2020, 11(12), 1338; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11121338 - 09 Dec 2020
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 958
Abstract
In this study, we present a meso-scale simulation of the urban microclimate in Berlin, Germany, using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) numerical weather prediction platform. The objective of the study is to derive an accurate estimate of the near-surface urban heat island [...] Read more.
In this study, we present a meso-scale simulation of the urban microclimate in Berlin, Germany, using the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) numerical weather prediction platform. The objective of the study is to derive an accurate estimate of the near-surface urban heat island (UHI) intensity. The simulation is conducted over a two-week summer period. We compare different physical schemes, different urban canopy schemes and different methods for estimating the UHI intensity. The urban fraction of each urban category is derived using the Copernicus Impervious Density data and the Corine Land Cover data. High-resolution City Geography Markup Language (CityGML) data is used to estimate the building height densities required by the multi-layer urban canopy model (UCM). Within the single-layer UCM, we implement an anthropogenic heat profile based on the large scale urban consumption of energy (LUCY) model. The optimal model configuration combines the WRF Single Moment Five-Class (WSM5) microphysics scheme, the Bougeault–Lacarrère planetary boundary layer scheme, the eta similarity (Mellor–Yamada–Janjic) surface layer scheme, the Noah Multi-Parameterization land surface model, the Dudhia and Rapid Radiative Transfer Model (RRTM) radiation schemes, and the multi-layer UCM (including the building energy model). Our simulated UHI intensity results agree well with measurements with a root mean squared error of 0.86K and a mean bias error of 0.20K. After model validation, we proceed to compare several UHI intensity calculation methods, including the ‘ring rural reference’ (RRR) method and the ‘virtual rural reference’ (VRR) method. The VRR mthod is also known as the ‘urban increment’ method. We suggest and argument that the VRR approach is superior. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction between Urban Microclimates and the Buildings)
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Article
Advancement in Urban Climate Modelling at Local Scale: Urban Heat Island Mitigation and Building Cooling Demand
Atmosphere 2020, 11(12), 1313; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11121313 - 04 Dec 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1284
Abstract
As cities and their population are subjected to climate change and urban heat islands, it is paramount to have the means to understand the local urban climate and propose mitigation measures, especially at neighbourhood, local and building scales. A framework is presented, where [...] Read more.
As cities and their population are subjected to climate change and urban heat islands, it is paramount to have the means to understand the local urban climate and propose mitigation measures, especially at neighbourhood, local and building scales. A framework is presented, where the urban climate is studied by coupling a meteorological model to a building-resolved local urban climate model, and where an urban climate model is coupled to a building energy simulation model. The urban climate model allows for studies at local scale, combining modelling of wind and buoyancy with computational fluid dynamics, radiative exchange and heat and mass transport in porous materials including evaporative cooling at street canyon and neighbourhood scale. This coupled model takes into account the hygrothermal behaviour of porous materials and vegetation subjected to variations of wetting, sun, wind, humidity and temperature. The model is driven by climate predictions from a mesoscale meteorological model including urban parametrisation. Building energy demand, such as cooling demand during heat waves, can be evaluated. This integrated approach not only allows for the design of adapted buildings, but also urban environments that can mitigate the negative effects of future climate change and increased urban heat islands. Mitigation solutions for urban heat island effect and heat waves, including vegetation, evaporative cooling pavements and neighbourhood morphology, are assessed in terms of pedestrian comfort and building (cooling) energy consumption. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction between Urban Microclimates and the Buildings)
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Article
City-Scale Building Anthropogenic Heating during Heat Waves
Atmosphere 2020, 11(11), 1206; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11111206 - 07 Nov 2020
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 1272
Abstract
More frequent and longer duration heat waves have been observed worldwide and are recognized as a serious threat to human health and the stability of electrical grids. Past studies have identified a positive feedback between heat waves and urban heat island effects. Anthropogenic [...] Read more.
More frequent and longer duration heat waves have been observed worldwide and are recognized as a serious threat to human health and the stability of electrical grids. Past studies have identified a positive feedback between heat waves and urban heat island effects. Anthropogenic heat emissions from buildings have a crucial impact on the urban environment, and hence it is critical to understand the interactive effects of urban microclimate and building heat emissions in terms of the urban energy balance. Here we developed a coupled-simulation approach to quantify these effects, mapping urban environmental data generated by the mesoscale Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) coupled to Urban Canopy Model (UCM) to urban building energy models (UBEM). We conducted a case study in the city of Los Angeles, California, during a five-day heat wave event in September 2009. We analyzed the surge in city-scale building heat emission and energy use during the extreme heat event. We first simulated the urban microclimate at a high resolution (500 m by 500 m) using WRF-UCM. We then generated grid-level building heat emission profiles and aggregated them using prototype building energy models informed by spatially disaggregated urban land use and urban building density data. The spatial patterns of anthropogenic heat discharge from the building sector were analyzed, and the quantitative relationship with weather conditions and urban land-use dynamics were assessed at the grid level. The simulation results indicate that the dispersion of anthropogenic heat from urban buildings to the urban environment increases by up to 20% on average and varies significantly, both in time and space, during the heat wave event. The heat dispersion from the air-conditioning heat rejection contributes most (86.5%) of the total waste heat from the buildings to the urban environment. We also found that the waste heat discharge in inland, dense urban districts is more sensitive to extreme events than it is in coastal or suburban areas. The generated anthropogenic heat profiles can be used in urban microclimate models to provide a more accurate estimation of urban air temperature rises during heat waves. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction between Urban Microclimates and the Buildings)
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Article
Observational Practices for Urban Microclimates Using Meteorologically Instrumented Unmanned Aircraft Systems
Atmosphere 2020, 11(9), 1008; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11091008 - 21 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1050
Abstract
The urban boundary layer (UBL) is one of the most important and least understood atmospheric domains and, consequently, warrants deep understanding and rigorous analysis via sophisticated experimental and numerical tools. When field experiments have been undertaken, they have primarily been accomplished with either [...] Read more.
The urban boundary layer (UBL) is one of the most important and least understood atmospheric domains and, consequently, warrants deep understanding and rigorous analysis via sophisticated experimental and numerical tools. When field experiments have been undertaken, they have primarily been accomplished with either a coarse network of in-situ sensors or slow response sensors based on timing or Doppler shifts, resulting in low resolution and decreasing performance with height. Small unmanned aircraft systems (UASs) offer an opportunity to improve on traditional UBL observational strategies that may require substantive infrastructure or prove impractical in a vibrant city, prohibitively expensive, or coarse in resolution. Multirotor UASs are compact, have the ability to take-off and land vertically, hover for long periods of time, and maneuver easily in all three spatial dimensions, making them advantageous for probing an obstacle-laden environment. Fixed-wing UASs offer an opportunity to cover vast horizontal and vertical distances, at low altitudes, in a continuous manner with high spatial resolution. Hence, fixed-wing UASs are advantageous for observing the roughness sublayer above the highest building height where traditional manned aircraft cannot safely fly. This work presents a methodology for UBL investigations using meteorologically instrumented UASs and discusses lessons learned and best practices garnered from a proof of concept field campaign that focused on the urban canopy layer and roughness sublayer of a large modern city with a high-rise urban canopy. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction between Urban Microclimates and the Buildings)
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Article
Analysis of Cooling and Humidification Effects of Different Coverage Types in Small Green Spaces (SGS) in the Context of Urban Homogenization: A Case of HAU Campus Green Spaces in Summer in Zhengzhou, China
Atmosphere 2020, 11(8), 862; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11080862 - 14 Aug 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1216
Abstract
In the context of global warming, more and more cities are experiencing extreme Urban Heat Island (UHI) effects and extreme weather phenomena, but urban green spaces are proven to mitigate UHI. Most of UHI’s research focuses on the large scale and uses remote [...] Read more.
In the context of global warming, more and more cities are experiencing extreme Urban Heat Island (UHI) effects and extreme weather phenomena, but urban green spaces are proven to mitigate UHI. Most of UHI’s research focuses on the large scale and uses remote sensing methods, which do not reflect the dynamic characteristics in detail and do not detect internal influencing factors of the green space cooling effect. Therefore, this study focused on Small Green Spaces (SGS), carrying out the measurement of the meteorological parameters (temperature, relative humidity, wind direction, wind speed, photosynthetic radiation) of the 16 sites in four types of coverage (Impervious surface; Shrub-grass; Tree-grass; Tree-shrub-grass) in a university campus. At the same time, the coverage characteristic parameters, such as Canopy Density (CD), Leaf Area Index (LAI), Photosynthetically Active Radiation (PAR), Mean Leaf Angle (MLA), of each plot were analyzed and compared. The results showed that there were significant differences in temperature among different coverage types in SGS. The biggest difference was concentrated in the noon period when solar radiation is strongest during the day. The difference between the four types of coverage with vegetation at night was small. The maximum air temperature difference among the four types could reach 8.9 ℃ and the maximum relative humidity difference was 28.5%. The cooling effect of the multi-layer vegetation-covered (Tree-shrub-grass) area was the largest compared to the impervious surface, indicating that tree cover was the core factor affecting the temperature. Temperature and relative humidity had a close correlation with surface coverage types and some plant community characteristics (such as CD and LAI). The cooling and humidifying effects of plants were also related to PAR and leaf angle. The results provide suggestions for green space management and landscape design. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction between Urban Microclimates and the Buildings)
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Article
Impacts of Vegetation and Topography on Land Surface Temperature Variability over the Semi-Arid Mountain Cities of Saudi Arabia
Atmosphere 2020, 11(7), 762; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11070762 - 18 Jul 2020
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 1432
Abstract
Land surface temperature (LST) can fully reflect the water–heat exchange cycle of the earth surface that is important for the study of environmental change. There is little research on LST in the semi-arid region of Abha-Khamis-Mushyet, which has a complex topography. The study [...] Read more.
Land surface temperature (LST) can fully reflect the water–heat exchange cycle of the earth surface that is important for the study of environmental change. There is little research on LST in the semi-arid region of Abha-Khamis-Mushyet, which has a complex topography. The study used LST data, retrieved from ASTER data in semi-arid mountain areas and discussed its relationship with land use/land cover (LULC), topography and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). The results showed that the LST was significantly influenced by altitude and corresponding LULC type. In the study area, during the summer season, extreme high-temperature zones were observed, possibly due to dense concrete surfaces. LST among different types of land use differed significantly, being the highest in exposed rocky areas and built-up land, and the lowest in dense vegetation. NDVI and LST spatial distributions showed opposite trends. The LST–NDVI feature space showed a unique ABC obtuse-angled triangle shape and showed an overall negative linear correlation. In brief, the LST could be retrieved well by the emissivity derived NDVI TES method, which relied on upwelling, downwelling, and transmittance. In addition, the LST of the semi-arid mountain areas was influenced by elevation, slope zenith angle, aspect and LULC, among which vegetation and elevation played a key role in the overall LST. This research provides a roadmap for land-use planning and environmental conservation in mountainous urban areas. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction between Urban Microclimates and the Buildings)
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Article
Thermal Environment Map in Street Canyon for Implementing Extreme High Temperature Measures
Atmosphere 2020, 11(6), 550; https://doi.org/10.3390/atmos11060550 - 26 May 2020
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1253
Abstract
The thermal environment map in street canyon is derived by using GIS building data and more detailed calculation, and its effectiveness is considered for implementing extreme high temperature measures. The influence of mean radiant temperature (MRT) is more dominant than the wind velocity [...] Read more.
The thermal environment map in street canyon is derived by using GIS building data and more detailed calculation, and its effectiveness is considered for implementing extreme high temperature measures. The influence of mean radiant temperature (MRT) is more dominant than the wind velocity on the distribution of standard new effective temperature (SET*) on the typical summer day in street canyon in the urban area of Kobe city, and the solar radiation shading is more effective in suppressing the rise of SET* in the daytime than improving the land coverage. The following strategy of extreme high temperature measures is derived by considering the thermal environment map in street canyon. Pedestrians may find the shaded places on the north-south road until 10:00 a.m. and after 3:00 p.m., due to the eastern building’s shade in the morning and the western building’s shade in the afternoon. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Interaction between Urban Microclimates and the Buildings)
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