Microclimate assessment method f or urban design – A case study in subarctic climate

  • Saeed Ebrahimabadi
  • Charlotta Johansson
  • Agatino Rizzo
  • Kristina Nilsson
Original Article
  • 163 Downloads

Abstract

Interest in climate-sensitive urban design has grown in recent decades. Nevertheless, there are various difficulties associated with such an approach. One of these is the lack of simple comfort assessment tools. This article presents a method for microclimate assessment that is composed of a wind comfort analysis and a microclimate assessment based on measuring a combination of solar access and wind velocity. The study includes analysis of a proposed urban project situated in Kiruna, a Swedish town located in the subarctic region of the country. The results from the simulations were then overlaid to produce combined microclimate maps for three specific dates: winter solstice, spring equinox and summer solstice. The maps illustrate relative microclimate differences between areas in the proposed project based on combinations of wind/lee and sun/shadow conditions. The outcomes showed that only a small proportion of the area studied had favourable microclimate conditions at the winter solstice and spring equinox. The thermal comfort Index OUT_SET* was calculated for the summer solstice in the study area. Comparisons between the spatial distribution of OUT_SET* values and the microclimate assessment map showed a large degree of correlation. The method is intended to be a simple and representative evaluation of microclimate.

Keywords

microclimate assessment outdoor comfort subarctic climate wind comfort urban design 

Notes

Acknowledgements

This article was made possible by the research programs Attract B and Alice. Financial support for these programmes was provided by Hjalmar Lundbohm Research Centre, Vinnova and the Swedish Research Council Formas. The authors are grateful to the reviewers for their comments and constructive suggestions. Sincere thanks also go to Dr Erik Johansson from Lund University for his feedback on the simulation techniques used in the article.

References

  1. ASHRAE. (1981) Thermal Environmental Conditions for Human Occupancy : ANSI/ASHRAE Standard 55 – 1981. Atlanta, GA.Google Scholar
  2. ASHRAE. (2005) ASHRAE Handbook – Fundamentals. SI edn. Atlanta, GA.Google Scholar
  3. Blocken, B. and Carmeliet, J. (2004) Pedestrian wind environment around buildings: Literature review and practical examples. Journal of Thermal Envelope and Building Science 28 (2): 107–159.Google Scholar
  4. Brown, G.Z. and DeKay, M. (2001) Sun, Wind & Light: Architectural Design Strategies, 2nd edn. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  5. Brown, G.Z. and DeKay, M. (2013) Sun, Wind, and Light: Architectural Design Strategies, 3rd edn. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.Google Scholar
  6. Bruse, M. and Fleer, H. (1998) Simulating surface-plant-air interactions inside urban environments with a three dimensional numerical model. Environmental Modelling and Software 13 (3–4): 373–384.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cheng, V. and Ng, E. (2006) Thermal comfort in urban open spaces for Hong Kong. Architectural Science Review 49 (3): 236–242.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Djongyang, N., Tchinda, R. and Njomo, D. (2010) Thermal comfort: A review paper. Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews 14 (9): 2626–2640.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Eliasson, I. (2000) The use of climate knowledge in urban planning. Landscape and Urban Planning 48 (1–2): 31–44.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Eliasson, I., Knez, I., Westerberg, U., Thorsson, S. and Lindberg, F. (2007) Climate and behaviour in a Nordic city. Landscape and Urban Planning 82 (1–2): 72–84.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Fanger, P.O. (1972) Thermal Comfort: Analysis and Applications in Environmental Engineering. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  12. Fountain, M.E. and Huizenga, C. (1997) Thermal sensation prediction tool for use by the profession. ASHRAE Transactions 103 (Part 2): 130–136.Google Scholar
  13. Franke, J., Hellsten, A., Schlunzen, H. and Carissimo, B. (eds.) (2007) Best Practice guideline for the CFD simulation of flows in the urban environment. COST action 732, Brussels, Belgium: COST office.Google Scholar
  14. Gagge, A.P., Stolwijk, J.A.J. and Nishi, Y. (1971) Effective temperature scale based on a simple model of human physiological regulatory response. ASHRAE Transactions 77 (1): 247–263.Google Scholar
  15. Givoni, B. (1976) Man, Climate and Architecture, 2nd edn. London: Applied Science Publishers.Google Scholar
  16. Holger Koss, H. (2006) On differences and similarities of applied wind comfort criteria. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 94 (11): 781–797.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Höppe, P. (1999) The physiological equivalent temperature – A universal index for the biometeorological assessment of the thermal environment. International Journal of Biometeorology 43 (2): 71–75.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Huttner, S. (2012) Further development and application of the 3D microclimate simulation ENVI-met. Mainz, Germany: Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz.Google Scholar
  19. Murakami, S. and Deguchi, K. (1981) New criteria for wind effects on pedestrians. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 7 (3): 289–309.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Nikolopoulou, M. and Lykoudis, S. (2007) Use of outdoor spaces and microclimate in a mediterranean urban area. Building and Environment 42 (10): 3691–3707.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Nikolopoulou, M. and Steemers, K. (2003) Thermal comfort and psychological adaptation as a guide for designing urban spaces. Energy and Buildings 35 (1): 95–101.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pickup, J. and de Dear, R. (2000) An outdoor thermal comfort index (OUT_SET*). Part I – The model and its assumptions. In: R. de Dear (ed.) Biometeorology and Urban Climatology at the Turn of the Millennium. Sydney, Australia: World Meteorological Organization, pp. 71–98.Google Scholar
  23. Potvin, A., Demers, D., DuMontier, C. and Giguere-Duval, H. (2012) Assessing seasonal microclimate performance of urban environments. ICUC 8 – International Conference on Urban Climates, Dublin, Ireland.Google Scholar
  24. Reiter, S. (2010) Assessing wind comfort in urban planning. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 37 (5): 857–873.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Ryser, L. and Halseth, G. (2008) Institutional barriers to incorporating climate responsive design in commercial redevelopment. Environment and Planning B: Planning and Design 35 (1): 34–55.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Spagnolo, J. and de Dear, R. (2003) A field study of thermal comfort in outdoor and semi-outdoor environments in subtropical Sydney Australia. Building and Environment 38 (5): 721–738.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Stathopoulos, T. (2009) Wind and comfort. 5th European & African Conference on Wind Engineering EACWE 5, Florence, Italy.Google Scholar
  28. Steemers, K., Ramos, M.C. and Sinou, M. (2004) Urban morphology. In: M. Nikolopoulou (ed.) Designing Open Spaces in the Urban Environment: A Bioclimatic Approach. Athens, Greece: Centre for Renewable Energy Sources, pp. 17–21.Google Scholar
  29. Stull, R.B. (1999) Meteorology for Scientists and Engineers, 2nd edn. Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.Google Scholar
  30. Thorsson, S., Honjo, T., Lindberg, F., Eliasson, I. and Lim, E. (2007) Thermal comfort and outdoor activity in Japanese urban public places. Environment and Behavior 39 (5): 660–684.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Tominaga, Y. et al (2008) AIJ guidelines for practical applications of CFD to pedestrian wind environment around buildings. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 96 (10–11): 1749–1761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Westerberg, U. (2009) The significane of climate for the use of urban outdoor spaces: Some results from case studies in two Noridc cities. Archnet-IJAR 3 (1): 131–144.Google Scholar
  33. Wiernga, J. (1993) Representative roughness parameters for homogeneous terrain. Boundary-Layer Meteorology 63 (4): 323–363.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Willemsen, E. and Wisse, J.A. (2007) Design for wind comfort in the Netherlands: Procedures, criteria and open research issues. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics 95 (9–11): 1541–1550.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Yahia, M.W. and Johansson, E. (2014) Landscape interventions in improving thermal comfort in the hot dry city of Damascus, Syria – The example of residential spaces with detached buildings. Landscape and Urban Planning 125: 1–16, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.landurbplan.2014.01.014.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Zacharias, J., Stathopoulos, T. and Wu, H. (2001) Microclimate and downtown open space activity. Environment and Behavior 33 (2): 296–315.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Saeed Ebrahimabadi
    • 1
  • Charlotta Johansson
    • 1
  • Agatino Rizzo
    • 1
  • Kristina Nilsson
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of CivilEnvironmental, and Natural Resources Engineering, Luleå University of TechnologyLuleåSweden

Personalised recommendations