Influence of height-to-width ratio: Case study on mean radiant temperature for Netherlands buildings

    Qun, Dai
    Schnabel, Marc Aurel
    Heusinkveld, Bert
    Architecture and the environment
    Thermal comfort, lighting and acoustics


A significant increase of extreme summer heat waves in Central Europe is arising, which has a strong influence on the living quality of its people. Thermal comfort and micro climate around buildings become important issues in urban planning affecting everyone’s daily lives. The major meteorological parameters, such as air temperature, air humidity, wind direction, wind speed and radiation are used to describe thermal comfort. Hereby the most important two parameters are wind speed and Mean Radiant Temperature (Tmrt). Tmrt sums all short and long wave radiation fluxes and weights the directional components for each up or down. In this study, a radiation model SOLWEIG is used to simulates spatial variations of Tmrt, we compare SOLWEIG’s simulation results with real survey data of Rotterdam in order to test whether SOLWEIG is suitable for Netherlands urban areas or not. We select a typical clear summer day in the Netherlands by examining its meteorological feature and simulate the temperatures on a computerised and idealized urban model with variable street widths and same height. Finally we discuss the Tmrt simulation results of different urban settings by comparing different street-aspect ratios (height-to-width ratio) using the SOLWEIG modelling. Our findings contribute to urban planning issues in quantifying the thermal comfort in specific urban environment and allow architects and planners to make informed decisions on the impact on thermal comfort of their design decisions.

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