From urban climate to energy consumption

Energy Buildings (Q1, 5 years Impact Factor 3,666 Elsevier) has published our article on urban climate and energy consumption entitled: “From urban climate to energy consumption. Enhancing building performance simulation by including the urban heat island effect“. This publication is the result of my research visit to the Catholic University of the North, located in the Atacama desert in Chile. I have spent three months there researching on urban heat islands (UHI) with my colleague and friend Dr Massimo Palme. We worked hard during that time to bring together the urban and the building scales, bridging two research communities. The article introduces a new method to downscale the UHI effect to the building scale, to use it in energy simulations. Up to date most of this modelling has been done using meteorological data coming from stations typically located in airports and rural areas, thus not considering the dramatic changes urban environments produced on climate. The research was performed in four coastal cities: Guayaquil (Ecuador), Lima (Peru), Antofagasta (Chile) and Valparaiso (Chile). Our findings found an increase in cooling demand in all cities, from 17 up to 67 percent in Guayaquil, from 14 up to 200 percent in Lima, from zero up to 1275 percent in Antofagasta and from 30 up to 159 percent in the case of Valparaiso. Thus, increases in cooling demand calculated including the UHI are relevant, needing to be included in the cooling calculations of buildings. The methodology is ready to be used in similar urban context. If you are interested in the publication, just send me an email, and I will be happy to share it.

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