Urban Heat Island (UHI) has significant impacts on the buildings energy consumption and outdoor air quality (OAQ). Various approaches, including observation and simulation techniques, have been proposed to understand the causes of UHI formation and to find the corresponding mitigation strategies. However, the causes of UHI are not the same in different climates or city features. Thus, general conclusion cannot be made based on limited monitoring data.
With recent progress in computational tools, simulation methods have been used to study UHI. These approaches, however, are also not able to cover all the phenomena that simultaneously contribute to the formation of UHI. The shortcomings are mostly attributed to the weakness of the theories and computational cost.
This paper presents a review of the techniques used to study UHI. The abilities and limitations of each approach for the investigation of UHI mitigation and prediction are discussed. Treatment of important parameters including latent, sensible, storage, and anthropogenic heat in addition to treatment of radiation, effect of trees and pond, and boundary condition to simulate UHI is also presented. Finally, this paper discusses the application of integration approach as a future opportunity.