Paper Conference

Proceedings of SimBuild Conference 2004: 1st conference of IBPSA-USA


A Simulation Tool for the Study of Urban Heat Island Mitigation

Harvey Bryan, Agarwal Vidhi, Porus Sam Antia
School of Architecture, Arizona State University, PO Box 871605, Tempe, AZ 85287-1605

Abstract: This paper explores the possibilities of mitigating the urban heat island effect by generating climateresponsive urban design guidelines for a hot arid climate. Many of the outdoor urban surfaces such as streets, sidewalks and building elements use low albedo materials that also have high thermal capacity. Field measurements indicate that it is not uncommon to have on a summer day surface Sol-air temperature of 150ºF (65ºC). The aggregation of such high surface temperatures is the prime cause of the urban heat island. Our understanding of this phenomenon has been hampered because the physics of radiant heat exchange are so complex it can only be modeled accurately at the urban scale by computer simulation. The paper illustrates the potential of a simulation program called RadTherm as a design tool to mitigate outdoor surface temperatures. The study models a typical urban streetscape in RadTherm to optimize the interaction between building materials, surface properties, adjacencies (view factors) and resultant surface temperatures. The performance of distinct parts of the urban streetscape are planned to demonstrate the possible application of the program for developing urban design guidelines to mitigate the urban heat island.
Pages: 1 - 5