The influence of building configuration on the urban heat island effect

Mohd Nasir, Siti Diana Nabilah (2017) The influence of building configuration on the urban heat island effect. (PhD thesis), University of Sheffield, .


The process of urbanisation has a major influence in determining the microclimate condition in urban areas through physical and social developments. With the estimation of 67 % world population will be living in the urban areas in 2050, modification of urban climate through urban heating will continually occur by adapting artificial urban surfaces to accommodate the demands from urban dwellers. This thesis highlighted the mitigation strategy by applying solar collector system embedded underneath road pavements, RPSC due to the concern of heat release from the ground road surfaces to the nearby air temperature, which indirectly affects the outdoor thermal comfort and elevates the urban heat island (UHI) effect. The performance of hydronic RPSC system was determined by factoring the influence of building configurations, termed as urban canyon. 3D CFD simulation studies of Standard k-ε RANS model coupled with Solar Load and DO radiation model were carried out to simulate the integration of hydronic RPSC with urban canyons. Validations of the simulation results were done against previous published works and the thesis’ thermal data collections within Kuala Lumpur conurbation centre. Based on the simulation and data collection, it was found that building configurations with symmetrical canyon height had clearly increased the performance of RPSC system in surface temperature reduction and potential temperature collection as compared to other comparative settings. There was an increasing trend by changing the aspect ratio (AR) 1 to AR 2 with a slightly drop in the performance to AR 3 and AR 4 due to shadow effects. Findings from the data collection however, disagreed the trend due to a major factor from the solar intensity of the measured days affecting the temperature values. Furthermore, application of RPSC system in deep street canyons showed the potential of the system to reduce up to 4 ℃ air temperature at the pedestrian level; however, it was still insufficient to achieve an outdoor comfort temperature level.

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