Building Simulation

, Volume 12, Issue 2, pp 231–246 | Cite as

Importance-driven approach for reducing urban radiative exchange computations

  • José Pedro AguerreEmail author
  • Eduardo Fernández
  • Benoit Beckers
Research Article Building Thermal, Lighting, and Acoustics Modeling


In the context of large scale urban heat transfer simulation, the prediction of radiative flux at short and long wave spectra is a step necessary to obtain accurate results. From a computational perspective, this task is expensive because realistic conditions require calculations in many sensors, considering multiple radiation bounces, and evaluating many hundred daylighting conditions. Radiosity-based approaches are adequate methods for processing the large number of diffuse surfaces that are usually present in city models. However, the high memory consumption of these algorithms turns them inefficient for handling big geometries, and therefore ray tracing techniques are commonly used. In this article we present a study on using the importance concept to improve the performance of radiosity calculations at the urban scale. The algorithm is able to consider diffuse and specular materials, and it proves to be a viable alternative to ray tracing. Since most of the information contained in big city models is not needed for simulating a selected zone of interest, the computational requirements can be reduced drastically. Several experiments are conducted to test the approach, and promising results are reported.


urban physics radiative exchange radiosity importance 


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The work was partially supported by project FSE_1_2017_1_144731 from Agencia Nacional de Investigación e Innovación (ANII, Uruguay). The authors would like to express their gratitude to Per Christensen for his kind cooperation.


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Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Pedro Aguerre
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eduardo Fernández
    • 1
  • Benoit Beckers
    • 2
  1. 1.Centro de Cálculo, Facultad de IngenieríaUniversidad de la RepúblicaMontevideoUruguay
  2. 2.Urban Physics Joint LaboratoryUniversité de Pau et des Pays de l’Adour, I2S UPPAAngletFrance

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