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An exploration of the relationship between density and building energy performance

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A Correction to this article was published on 30 April 2020

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Abstract

This paper aims to better understand how building density and shape jointly influence building energy performance in downtown urban environments. Three research questions are addressed: (1) How does the building density influence energy performance? (2) Given the same density, how do different building cover ratios create different impacts on energy performance? And,(3) How do different building typologies affect the density–energy relationship? To explore these questions, a series of parametric simulation experiments were conducted based on a hypothetical urban block structure that mimics the downtown urban grid of Portland. Energy use intensities of the office buildings with fully controlled environments are simulated. In contrast to the hypothesis that energy performance would be enhanced by increasing density, the results suggest that building energy use intensity decreases when density increases to a certain point and then begins to increase. Such a pattern suggests a threshold density that has the minimum building energy use intensity, while other parameters are constant. The study also explores how different building shapes generated with different cover ratio values and building typologies perform in terms of building energy performance, given the same density. Additional experiments extend the findings from Portland to downtown Atlanta and show similar patterns.

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  • 30 April 2020

    Some of the data in the main article text are not consistent with the data in Tables 2–4 in the article and they have been corrected as follows.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported by Creative-Pioneering Researchers Program through Seoul National University(SNU) and Seoul National University AI Institute through the Data Science Research Project 2018.

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Appendix

Appendix

See Table 6.

Table 6 Detailed building parameters other than building geometric ones (based on the large office type in the DOE reference building database)

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Quan, S.J., Economou, A., Grasl, T. et al. An exploration of the relationship between density and building energy performance. Urban Des Int 25, 92–112 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1057/s41289-020-00109-7

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