Effects of urban morphology and meteorology on building-scale urban design: case studies of the Urban Heat Island effect in California cities

Date:  Thursday, Nov 1, 2018: 1:00–2:00pm.

Location: Room F119 Building 4500N

Title:  Effects of urban morphology and meteorology on building-scale urban design: case studies of the Urban Heat Island effect in California cities

Abstract:

There have been countless projects around the world seeking to mitigate the impacts of population growth and climate change, unfortunately there are few standardized methods that enable solutions developed in one city to be readily applied to another. Variable urban morphologies give rise to unique local climates and as a result there is no set of universal solutions. This presentation will explore two projects that seek to enhance the resolution and efficacy of urban modeling at multiple scales in an effort to generate micro-climatic and environmental performance metrics that inform site specific approaches to design and planning.

The first project was the product of a multi-university collaboration to couple the urban-planning model ENVI-met to meteorological-model outputs from the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) platform. The World Urban Database Access Portal Tool (WUDAPT) methodology was used to produce a land-cover dataset as input to an urbanized version of WRF (uWRF) to model a high temperature episode in San Jose, CA, from the summer of 2017. The uWRF meteorological output was then used in ENVI-met to produce building-scale temperature fields to simulate a robust heat-wave mitigation strategy that incorporates multi-tier vegetation, green facades, high albedo surfaces, and extensive shade structures.

The second project sought to validate whether the solutions developed in one city were in fact replicable in another. This involved an exploration of ways in which to bridge research from the academic realm into the applied realm by developing a spatial language for strategies that could be tested using the thermal-modeling software SOLWEIG. Simulations were run using data from a high temperature episode in Oakland, CA, from the summer of 2016.

 

Biography:

Ian McRae is a visiting professor at the University of Tennessee and a research data analyst at UC Berkeley. His research involves the development of methods to evaluate the environmental performance of design and planning proposals under different climatic conditions with the goal of informing new strategies that achieve a sustainable form of urbanism.

 

Host:  Femi Omitaomu, Modeling & Simulation Group