A new Building Energy Model coupled with an Urban Canopy Parameterization for urban climate simulations—part II. Validation with one dimension off-line simulations


Recent studies show that the fluxes exchanged between buildings and the atmosphere play an important role in the urban climate. These fluxes are taken into account in mesoscale models considering new and more complex Urban Canopy Parameterizations (UCP). A standard methodology to test an UCP is to use one-dimensional (1D) off-line simulations. In this contribution, an UCP with and without a Building Energy Model (BEM) is run 1D off-line and the results are compared against the experimental data obtained in the BUBBLE measuring campaign over Basel (Switzerland) in 2002. The advantage of BEM is that it computes the evolution of the indoor building temperature as a function of energy production and consumption in the building, the radiation coming through the windows, and the fluxes of heat exchanged through the walls and roofs as well as the impact of the air conditioning system. This evaluation exercise is particularly significant since, for the period simulated, indoor temperatures were recorded. Different statistical parameters have been calculated over the entire simulated episode in order to compare the two versions of the UCP against measurements. In conclusion, with this work, we want to study the effect of BEM on the different turbulent fluxes and exploit the new possibilities that the UCP–BEM offers us, like the impact of the air conditioning systems and the evaluation of their energy consumption.

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    To be precise, in the UCP of Martilli, it is possible to fix the internal building temperature, which accounts in some indirect and very rough way for the anthropogenic heat. But this technique is not precise, and does not allow any estimation of energy consumption.


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We are particularly grateful to Andrea Krpo of the EPFL for the implementation of BEM in the UCP. The authors wish to thank CIEMAT for the doctoral fellowships held by Francisco Salamanca. We also thank Andreas Christen of the University of British Columbia for the important explanations about the input data used in the simulations. Moreover, we want to thank James Voogt of the University of Western Ontario who provided us the data about the indoor air temperature in some buildings obtained during the BUBBLE campaign, and finally Scott Krayenhoff of the University of British Columbia who sent us the thermal parameters corresponding to Basel-Sperrstrasse. This work has been funded by the Ministry of Environment of Spain.

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Correspondence to Francisco Salamanca.



List of symbols

C P (Jkg−1 K−1):

specific heat of the air at constant pressure


energy efficiency (coefficient of performance)

H sout (W):

sensible heat pumped out for cooling per building

H lout (W):

latent heat pumped out per building

L v (Jkg−1):

latent heat of vaporization

q (kgkg−1):

specific humidity

w (ms−1):

vertical component of the wind speed

θ (K):

potential temperature

ρ (kgm−3):

density of the air

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Salamanca, F., Martilli, A. A new Building Energy Model coupled with an Urban Canopy Parameterization for urban climate simulations—part II. Validation with one dimension off-line simulations. Theor Appl Climatol 99, 345 (2010). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00704-009-0143-8

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  • Heat Flux
  • Root Mean Square Error
  • Street Canyon
  • Urban Surface
  • Outdoor Temperature