The Impact of Urban Design on the Realization of the Zero Energy Building Target Through On-site Energy Production: a Case Study


Purpose of Review

The concept of the smart city goes beyond the employment of advanced information and communication technologies (ICT) for better resource use as it also includes smarter and more efficient ways to heat and power buildings. The implementation of on-site renewable energy technologies, as well as the exploitation of the solar global irradiance for buildings passive heating, is a key element in the urban design of smart cities. This study aims to present an urban design concept for smart cities, which puts the spotlight on the optimal solar exposure of buildings, which will allow the maximization of smart building solar energy profit.

Recent Findings

The physics of the methodology of the proposed design concept, which is based on well-established principles of solar geometry, is presented. A case study concerning the incident radiation of alternative designs of equivalent built area within a 5000 m2 urban block is presented and discussed.


This study aspires to influence the discussion for the development of urban block design procedures in smart cities.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Paris A. Fokaides.

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Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.

Additional information

This article is part of the Topical Collection on Building Sustainability


Appendix I: Investigated Building Geometries

Fig. 5

Appendix II: Incident Solar Radiation per Area of Investigated Case Studies

Table 3 ᅟ

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Pyrilli, D., Savvides, A.L. & Fokaides, P.A. The Impact of Urban Design on the Realization of the Zero Energy Building Target Through On-site Energy Production: a Case Study. Curr Sustainable Renewable Energy Rep 4, 72–86 (2017).

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  • Smart city
  • Urban planning
  • Environmental design
  • Global irradiance
  • On-site renewable energy technologies
  • Passive buildings