microclimate simulation




MSc DAAD 2018. Sheffield University


March 2018

The workflow proposed in this study uses ENVI-met, a CFD-based software to generate future microclimate scenarios of an urban area, based on (1) Site 3D geometry and (2) Climate data. Overall, the purpose of this workflow is to get a site-specific data that can be used to simulate future condition of an indoor or outdoor built-environment.

Beside the receptor data, ENVI-met simulation also provides larger-scale microclimate behaviour of the chosen urban area. Thus, it can be considered as an efficient tool for modelling the synthetic effect of climate change onto the built environment, with notable usefulness, including:

(1) Taking into account the site 3D geometric data and weather data file that can be modelled and modified, creating opportunities for generating and comparing different scenarios.

(2) Providing site-specific weather data, which can be more accurate for building simulation rather than using the default input or data from far-away weather stations (receptors output)

(3) Providing urban microclimate behaviour, which can be used to study further about the combination effect of climate change and urban planning onto the built environment (Leonardo output)

(4) Using less computational resource and faster generating time comparing to other future climate generating tools, i.e. Large Eddy Simulation (LES)

However, there are limitations in this workflow, because of (1) the uncertainty in the input preparation and modelling process; and (2) the core algorithm of ENVI-met calculation. Those limitations can lead to wrong predictions of future climate scenarios, especially when it comes to numeric values such as Air temperature, Relative humidity. Therefore, the result of each simulation should be considered as reference data in relation with other scenarios, rather than an accurate design input.