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Urban Climate and Building Energy Performance in Compact Cities in Mediterranean Climate

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Urban Microclimate Modelling for Comfort and Energy Studies
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Abstract

Cities in the Mediterranean basin are characterised by compact and dense urban fabric, leading to a strong night-time urban heat island (UHI) intensity which increases thermal discomfort and building energy use in summer. This chapter reviews several experimental and numerical studies investigating the UHI intensity in representative Mediterranean cities, discussing the limitations and suitability of different approaches based on the purpose of the analysis (i.e. outdoor thermal comfort or building energy efficiency). Some recurrent urban climate characteristics are highlighted, such as the importance of urban morphology and sea breeze, the range of the daytime and night-time UHI intensity and its seasonal variability. Case studies of Rome and Barcelona are used to present modelling approaches to integrate urban climate in building energy performance. The complexity of the urban climate modifications in this context and their net energy impact on buildings are discussed considering UHI intensity, mutual shading between buildings, urban surface temperatures and wind speed in urban canyons. The last section is dedicated to urban and building design strategies for heat management in Mediterranean cities, including effective UHI mitigation measures and flexible passive cooling design strategies for buildings.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Refer to the chapter “Spatial Metrics to Investigate the Impact of Urban Form on Microclimate and Building Energy Performance: An Essential Overview” by M. Morganti for a complete overview of density parameters (Chap. 18).

  2. 2.

    “Los edificios son barreras a la lluvia, al viento y, a veces, filtros sutiles a la luz y al calor. Rodeados de entornos variables, donde cambian el día y la noche, el calor y el frio, el viento y la calma, la lluvia y el sol; se convierten en refugios de artificiales condiciones, como islas de tranquilidad en un mundo incómodo”. “Arquitectura y climas” (Serra 1999) p. 7.

  3. 3.

    A detail explanation of the causes and the characteristics urban heat islands in cities can be found in the chapter “The Energetic Basis of the Urban Heat Island” by G. Mills, J. Futcher and I.D. Stewart (Chap. 3).

  4. 4.

    The different types of urban heat island corresponding measurement methods are described in the chapter “The Energetic Basis of the Urban Heat Island” by Mills, Futcher and Stewart (Chap. 3).

  5. 5.

    The model is described in the chapter “The Urban Weather Generator Model: Physics-Based Microclimate Simulation for Performance-Oriented Urban Planning” by J. Mao, L. Nordford (Chap. 12).

  6. 6.

    The concept of the local climate zones is described in “The Energetic Basis of the Urban Heat Island” by Mills, Futcher and Stewart (Chap. 3).

  7. 7.

    The complexity of outdoor thermal comfort assessments and the variables involved are described in the chapter “Thermal Comfort in Urban Spaces” by M. Nikolopoulou (Chap. 4).

  8. 8.

    The model is described in the chapter “The SOLENE-Microclimate Model: Potentiality for Comfort and Energy Studies” by Musy et al. (Chap. 13).

  9. 9.

    The model is described in the chapter “RayMan and SkyHelios Model” by Matzarakis et al. (Chap. 16).

  10. 10.

    It has to be noted that the URBEVENT empirical models were applied to Rome on the assumption of similarities in climate and urban geometry with Athens, where the measurements were carried out. However, the application of simplified models to calculate the wind flow in cities is very limited, due to the many site-dependant variables involved and the complexity of urban fabric geometry. A complete overview of the topic is provided in the chapter “Air Circulation in Urban Areas” by Di Bernardino et al. (Chap. 10).

  11. 11.

    An overview of the modelling capabilities of WRF coupled with urban canopy models is provided in the chapter “The Coupling of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model with the Urban Canopy Models for Climate Simulations” by Jandaghian and Berardi (Chap. 11).

  12. 12.

    The different thermal indices developed to assess outdoor thermal comfort are described in the chapter “RayMan and SkyHelios Model” by Matzarakis et al. (Chap. 16).

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Correspondence to Agnese Salvati .

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Salvati, A., Coch, H. (2021). Urban Climate and Building Energy Performance in Compact Cities in Mediterranean Climate. In: Palme, M., Salvati, A. (eds) Urban Microclimate Modelling for Comfort and Energy Studies. Springer, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65421-4_6

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-65421-4_6

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  • Publisher Name: Springer, Cham

  • Print ISBN: 978-3-030-65420-7

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