THERMODYNAMICS OF THE MICROCLIMATE: EFFECTS OF EXTERNAL ELEMENTS ON INTERNAL HEAT GAINS
Anupam Jain, Aran Osborne
Urban energy concerns caused by phenomenon such as the heat island effect are increasing in importance and can no longer be ignored. Energy consumption in such urban areas is being adversely affected by local environmental conditions. Previous research has shown that the microclimate has a measured impact on a building’s internal energy performance. This research focuses on modeling aspects of the external microclimate for building energy consumption using a combination of simulation tools and manual calculations. Specifically, the development of a Visual Basic tool to study the effects of landscape on building fenestration is described. The authors have identified the following issues as part of the study boundary: sun angles, shading and insolation; vegetation placement and characteristics; paving and roofing materials; windows and building assemblies. Field experiments with handheld instruments were done to study behavior of material properties when exposed to solar radiation in the external environment. Using a case study approach, simulations utilized a number of existing software tools based on the strengths of each program. The results from measured data and software predictions were compared for validation and to form initial conclusions. Some of the key recommendations of the ongoing research focus on strategic interventions around buildings and large paved areas such as parking lots.
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