Urban Form as an Energy Management Parameter

Julie Ann Futcher, Tristan Kershaw

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review

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Urban form is generally economically driven; as a result little attention is paid to how the surrounding urban geometry affects the energy performance of a building. Instead building designers tend to rely upon a fabric first approach to energy management. This work explores the interdependent relationships that develop between buildings at the scale of the city street. We use dynamic thermal simulations of multiple buildings at the scale of a neighbourhood to study the effects of urban form on the regulated loads of modern non-domestic buildings. Simulations are based upon the area of Moorgate within the City of London with simulations of buildings in their standalone setting are compared against identical buildings in various urban settings, both for the current climate and a possible future climate within the lifetime of the building. In this way the effects of urban form were compared to the effects of improving the building fabric. We find that not only do identical buildings behave differently as a direct response to the form of the surrounding urban setting, but that these performance patterns become increasingly significant with lowered operational loads (as a result of the mitigation agenda) and predicted warming trends. The results imply that the current fabric first approach to meet carbon reduction targets and avoid dangerous climate change may not be adequate.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2016
EventIntegrated Design at 50: Building our Future - University of Bath, Bath, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 30 Jun 20161 Jul 2016


ConferenceIntegrated Design at 50: Building our Future
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


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