Effect of urban built form and density on building energy performance in temperate climates

Ahmadian, Ehsan, Sodagar, Behzad, Bingham, Chris , Elnokaly, Amira and Mills, Glen (2021) Effect of urban built form and density on building energy performance in temperate climates. Energy and Buildings . ISSN 0378-7788

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2021.110762

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Effect of urban built form and density on building energy performance in temperate climates
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Abstract

Urban built form and density are crucial parameters for the optimization of building energy performance. However, a cohesive framework which correlates building energy with urban built form and density is lacking, with no unified agreement on the concept of urban density. This study establishes the subtle interrelationships between urban built forms, density and building energy performance using two density indicators, specifically, site coverage and plot ratio. This paper initially considers geometrical variables of four customary urban built forms to investigate their relationship with the density indicators. Energy analyses are performed on the geometrical models representing residential buildings using the City of London as an example of a temperate climate. Annual building energy demands of pavilion, terrace, court and tunnel-court forms are calculated. The findings are used to produce a heat map of energy intensity on the Form Signature graphs. Results show that high-rise buildings with greater plan depths achieve higher energy efficiency. Moreover, it is shown that greater cut-off angles correspond to higher energy demands under temperate climatic conditions. An energy indicator, termed Energy Equity is introduced which represents the ratio between PV energy generation installed on roofs with respect to the total energy demand of the building. Further analyses show that by considering energy demand and PV energy generation simultaneously, low-rise buildings with greater plan depths provide improved energy performance. A comparative analysis of the energy performance of different built forms with similar geometric parameters demonstrates that the tunnel-court and the pavilion built forms provide the best and worst energy performance, respectively. However, when constraining density whilst changing other geometric parameters, this converse is true. Finally, the study illustrates that the same density for the same built form can be achieved by different combinations of geometric parameters that certainly affects energy performance of buildings. Graphic display of the analysis results provide urban planning guidelines that represent the database of major findings of this study. It can be used by designers, planners and architects to identify the most energy-efficient built form and density for promoting more sustainable cities.

Keywords:urban built form, urban density, building energy demand, PV energy generation
Subjects:K Architecture, Building and Planning > K421 Urban Planning
K Architecture, Building and Planning > K200 Building
J Technologies > J910 Energy Technologies
Divisions:College of Arts > Lincoln School of Architecture and the Built Environment
ID Code:44004
Deposited On:16 Feb 2021 10:34

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