Matching Items (4)

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Heat mitigation in hot urban deserts: measuring actualities, magnitude and effectiveness

Description

Urban-induced heating is a challenge to the livability and health of city dwellers. It is a complex issue that many cities are facing, and a more urgent hazard in hot

Urban-induced heating is a challenge to the livability and health of city dwellers. It is a complex issue that many cities are facing, and a more urgent hazard in hot urban deserts (HUDs) than elsewhere due to already high temperatures and aridity. The challenge compounds in the absence of more localized heat mitigation understanding. In addition, over-reliance on evidence from temperate regions is disconnected from the actualities of extreme bioclimatic dynamics found in HUDs. This dissertation is an integration of a series of studies that inform urban climate relationships specific to HUDs. This three-paper dissertation demonstrates heat mitigation aspirational goals from actualities, depicts local urban thermal drivers in Kuwait, and then tests morphological sensitivity of selected thermal modulation strategies in one neighborhood in Kuwait City.

The first paper is based on a systematic literature review where evidence from morphological mitigation strategies in HUDs were critically reviewed, synthesized and integrated. Metrics, measurements, and methods were extracted to examine the applicability of the different strategies, and a content synthesis identified the levels of strategy success. Collective challenges and uncertainties were interpreted to compare aspirational goals from actualities of morphological mitigation strategies.

The second paper unpacks the relationship of urban morphological attributes in influencing thermal conditions to assess latent magnitudes of heat amelioration strategies. Mindful of the challenges presented in the first study, a 92-day summer field-measurement campaign captured system dynamics of urban thermal stimuli within sub-diurnal phenomena. A composite data set of sub-hourly air temperature measurements with sub-meter morphological attributes was built, statistically analyzed, and modeled. Morphological mediation effects were found to vary hourly with different patterns under varying weather conditions in non-linear associations. Results suggest mitigation interventions be investigated and later tested on a site- use and time-use basis.

The third paper concludes with a simulation-based study to conform on the collective findings of the earlier studies. The microclimate model ENVI-met 4.4, combined with field measurements, was used to simulate the effect of rooftop shade-sails in cooling the near ground thermal environment. Results showed significant cooling effects and thus presented a novel shading approach that challenges orthodox mitigation strategies in HUDs.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Sustainability assessment framework for infrastructure: application to buildings / by Jonghoon Kim

Description

In the United States, buildings account for 20–40% of the total energy consumption based on their operation and maintenance, which consume nearly 80% of their energy during their lifecycle. In

In the United States, buildings account for 20–40% of the total energy consumption based on their operation and maintenance, which consume nearly 80% of their energy during their lifecycle. In order to reduce building energy consumption and related problems (i.e. global warming, air pollution, and energy shortages), numerous building technology programs, codes, and standards have been developed such as net-zero energy buildings, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), and the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers 90.1. However, these programs, codes, and standards are typically utilized before or during the design and construction phases. Subsequently, it is difficult to track whether buildings could still reduce energy consumption post construction. This dissertation fills the gap in knowledge of analytical methods for building energy analysis studies for LEED buildings. It also focuses on the use of green space for reducing atmospheric temperature, which contributes the most to building energy consumption. The three primary objectives of this research are to: 1) find the relationship between building energy consumption, outside atmospheric temperature, and LEED Energy and Atmosphere credits (OEP); 2) examine the use of different green space layouts for reducing the atmospheric temperature of high-rise buildings; and 3) use data mining techniques (i.e. clustering, isolation, and anomaly detection) to identify data anomalies in the energy data set and evaluate LEED Energy and Atmosphere credits based on building energy patterns. The results found that buildings with lower OEP used the highest amount of energy. LEED OEP scores tended to increase the energy saving potential of buildings, thereby reducing the need for renovation and maintenance. The results also revealed that the shade and evaporation effects of green spaces around buildings were more effective for lowering the daytime atmospheric temperature in the range of 2°C to 6.5°C. Additionally, abnormal energy consumption patterns were found in LEED buildings that used anomaly detection methodology analysis. Overall, LEED systems should be evaluated for energy performance to ensure that buildings continue to save energy after construction.

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Date Created
  • 2016

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Participatory roles of urban trees in regulating environmental quality

Description

The world has been continuously urbanized and is currently accommodating more than half of the human population. Despite that cities cover only less than 3% of the Earth’s land surface

The world has been continuously urbanized and is currently accommodating more than half of the human population. Despite that cities cover only less than 3% of the Earth’s land surface area, they emerged as hotspots of anthropogenic activities. The drastic land use changes, complex three-dimensional urban terrain, and anthropogenic heat emissions alter the transport of mass, heat, and momentum, especially within the urban canopy layer. As a result, cities are confronting numerous environmental challenges such as exacerbated heat stress, frequent air pollution episodes, degraded water quality, increased energy consumption and water use, etc. Green infrastructure, in particular, the use of trees, has been proved as an effective means to improve urban environmental quality in existing research. However, quantitative evaluations of the efficacy of urban trees in regulating air quality and thermal environment are impeded by the limited temporal and spatial scales in field measurements and the deficiency in numerical models.

This dissertation aims to advance the simulation of realistic functions of urban trees in both microscale and mesoscale numerical models, and to systematically evaluate the cooling capacity of urban trees under thermal extremes. A coupled large-eddy simulation–Lagrangian stochastic modeling framework is developed for the complex urban environment and is used to evaluate the impact of urban trees on traffic-emitted pollutants. Results show that the model is robust for capturing the dispersion of urban air pollutants and how strategically implemented urban trees can reduce vehicle-emitted pollution. To evaluate the impact of urban trees on the thermal environment, the radiative shading effect of trees are incorporated into the integrated Weather Research and Forecasting model. The mesoscale model is used to simulate shade trees over the contiguous United States, suggesting how the efficacy of urban trees depends on geographical and climatic conditions. The cooling capacity of urban trees and its response to thermal extremes are then quantified for major metropolitans in the United States based on remotely sensed data. It is found the nonlinear temperature dependence of the cooling capacity remarkably resembles the thermodynamic liquid-water–vapor equilibrium. The findings in this dissertation are informative to evaluating and implementing urban trees, and green infrastructure in large, as an important urban planning strategy to cope with emergent global environmental changes.

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Date Created
  • 2019

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Exploring the relationship between social capital and vulnerability to extreme heat

Description

Urban heat is a growing problem that impacts public health, water and energy use, and the economy and affects population subgroups differently. Exposure and sensitivity, two key factors in determining

Urban heat is a growing problem that impacts public health, water and energy use, and the economy and affects population subgroups differently. Exposure and sensitivity, two key factors in determining vulnerability, have been widely researched. This dissertation focuses on the adaptive capacity component of heat vulnerability at the individual, household, and community scale. Using a mixed methods approach and metropolitan Phoenix as a test site, I explored how vulnerable communities understand and adapt to increasing extreme urban heat to uncover adaptive capacity that is not being operationalized well through current heat vulnerability frameworks. Twenty-three open-ended interviews were conducted where residents were encouraged to tell their stories about past and present extreme heat adaptive capacity behaviors. A community-based participatory research project consisting of three workshops and demonstration projects was piloted in three underserved neighborhoods to address urban heat on a local scale and collaboratively create community heat action plans. Last, a practitioner stakeholder meeting was held to discuss how the heat action plans will be integrated into other community efforts. Using data from the interviews, workshops, and stakeholder meeting, social capital was examined in the context of urban heat. Although social capital has been measured in a multitude of ways to gauge social relationships, trust, and reciprocity within a community, it is situational and reflects a position within the formal and informal aspects of any issue. Three narratives emerged from the interviews illuminating differentiated capacities to cope with urban heat: heat is an inconvenience, heat is a manageable problem, and heat is a catastrophe. For each of these narratives, generic adaptive capacity is impacted differently by specific heat adaptive capacity. The heat action plan workshops generated hyper-local heat solutions that reflected the neighborhoods’ different identities. Community-based organizations were instrumental in the success of this program. Social capital indicators were developed specific to urban heat that rely on heavily on family and personal relationships, attitudes and beliefs, perceived support, network size and community engagement. This research highlights how extreme heat vulnerability may need to be rethought to capture adaptive capacity nuances and the dynamic structure of who is vulnerable under what circumstances.

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Date Created
  • 2019