Exploring the Effect of Micro-climate Data on Building Energy Performance Analysis




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Peer reviewed



A limitation in the current research is most studies on energy performance of buildings concentrate on individual buildings while its interaction with neighbouring urban context remains largely unexplored. Buildings are considered as isolated masses, disregarding the fact that they belong to an urban environment. Consequently, the energy performance of buildings is generally analysed with the aid of general climatic data, in case of building simulations in particular, which varies significantly with micro-scale climates. Indoor conditions are determined through the interaction between the building surface and synoptic-climatic data uploaded as a weather file. Predicted energy consumption this way by ignoring its urban settings can vary significantly from the actual value. Several studies have demonstrated that microclimate inside urban canyons has substantial influence upon the building energy consumption. Therefore, it is important to incorporate micro-climatic data in energy performance research. This study shows how much difference the micro-climate data can make when used instead of synoptic-climate data by coupling micro-climatic tool Envi-met with Building energy simulation (BES) programme IES-VE. The study also endeavours to identify the best urban arrangement in terms of energy performance among four simple urban arrangements in a hot-humid tropical climate under the hottest scenarios. The results reveal the surface-to-volume ratio as an important parameter in achieving energy efficiency. Among four simple urban blocks, the pavilion model was found to have the lowest cooling demand. However, the pavilion model, mostly made up of non-passive zones is unable to interact with the outdoor environment and therefore, in spite of its energy efficiency, cannot be termed as the best possible option as far as passive buildings are considered.



Urban Micro-climate, Building Energy Performance, Synoptic Climate, ENVI-met, IES-VE


Sharmin, T. and Steemers, K., (2015). Exploring the effect of microclimate data on building energy performance analysis. SuDBE – 7th International Conference on Sustainable Development in Building and Environment, University of Reading, UK, July 2015.


Research Institute

Institute of Architecture