Decoding Urban Nature

Solar Analysis

  • Sun & shade hours
  • Glazing analysis
  • Shadow casting
  • Solar energy gain

The right amount of sun light is a key factor for a liveable urban environment. Both the lack of sun light as well as unrestricted solar input can create uncomfortable conditions. ENVI-met offers a wide range of solar access analysis modules both as stand-alone indicators or part of the integrated microclimate simulation process. These tools have the ability to conduct year-long analysis at selected points, with three-dimensional sun and shade simulations that incorporate the complex calculation of multiple reflections within the model environment. This high-resolution module also provides dynamic boundary conditions for the analysis of building physics.

Air Pollutant Dispersion

  • Emission and transport of particles and gases
  • Chemical reactions between NOx, Ozone and (B)VOC
  • Includes deposition on plants and surfaces
  • Integrated tools to calculate traffic emission profiles

Air pollution is one of the biggest health issues in the urban environment. In order to analyse the exposure of people and locations to the various types of air pollutants, ENVI-met integrates the air pollution and dispersion model into the holistic microclimate simulation to assess particles of different sizes, and both reactive and non-reactive gases. To analyse the effect of different clean air strategies, the deposition processes taking place on plant and material surfaces are integrated into the dispersion calculation. The software supports the creation of user defined traffic emission profiles based on standard emission factors for vehicles.

Building Physics

  • Façade temperatures
  • Exchange processes with vegetated walls
  • Interaction between the outdoor microclimate with indoor climate
  • Water and energy balance of living wall systems

The urban microclimate and the energy exchange processes at the building level constitute an integrated system that is constantly interacting with one another. In order to design and construct sustainable buildings, it is mandatory to quantify and understand the impact of the environment on the building physics and energy consumption. ENVI-met provides high-resolution modelling of the heat and humidity transfer at the building facade and a prognostic calculation of wall and indoor temperatures. Moreover, ENVI-met can generate “urbanized” weather data to be used for building energy simulation software.

Green & Blue Technologies

  • Benefits of façade & rooftop greening
  • Impact of green spaces and bodies of water
  • Simulation of living walls
  • Air cooling through water spray

Vegetation and water features are some of the key components to optimizing urban thermal comfort.

ENVI-met provides a sophisticated vegetation model that simulates evapotranspiration, CO2 uptake and leaf temperature based on the photosynthetic rate of the plant. Vegetated walls and roof systems can be simulated to include the effects of different growing mediums and mounting methods for the plants. Water can be used in various ways, from a simple pond to a misting water fountain. ENVI-met includes a separate water droplet dispersion and evaporation model that can simulate the cooling effect of fine water spray on air temperature.

Wind Flow

  • Wind patterns in complex environments
  • Wind speed around buildings and trees
  • Wind comfort

Besides sun light, wind is another basic element that contributes to the sensation of the local climate. Too little ventilation or too much wind can generate unpleasant or even harmful outdoor conditions. The computation of three-dimensional wind and turbulence in complex conditions is an integrated module of the ENVI-met software. It can estimate the wind conditions at any point in the model space or at building facades, continuously taking into account the effects of thermal conditions, vegetation or weather patterns on the flow field.

Renderings of temperatures in a dense urban environment to determine thermal comfor

Outdoor Thermal Comfort

  • Air temperature
  • Radiant temperature of surrounding surfaces
  • Air movement in the vicinity of the body
  • Relative Humidity

Although the urban microclimate is the sum of independent parameters such as wind speed, radiant temperature or air temperature, these meteorological factors coalesce at the human body as an individual sensation of the local climate conditions. ENVI-met offers a high-resolution analysis of the heat and energy fluxes coming from the environment for any position within the model domain. Using sophisticated biometeorological models such as Physiological Equivalent Temperature (PET) or Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI), the overall thermal sensation of a person standing in the virtual environment can be calculated for any given scenario.


  • Analysis of plant growing conditions
  • Simulation of wind stress and tree damage
  • Simulation of water usage

Sustainable and resilient landscape architecture does not only mean finding the best spots to plant trees, but also identifying suitable species and establishing maintenance strategies to enhance tree survivorship in an urban environment.

The TreePass will be able to analyse individual trees at the level of the crown geometry with the resolution of a single branch using the idea of L-Systems. The impact of the local growing conditions, such as access to light, will be considered in the analysis as well as different maintenance strategies. The risk of uprooting or mechanical damage will be visible down to the individual branch for an unlimited number of trees inside a city quarter.

The ENVI-met TreePass will consist of a number of analysis modules, the first of which will be available with the Spring 2022 Release.



What others say about ENVI-met

“The Werner Sobek Holding has been working with the ENVI-met simulation tool since 2007. We use it for a wide variety of projects within Germany and internationally, especially for construction projects with challenging climate conditions. ENVI-met takes into account the interactions of wind, green space, solar radiation, buildings and many other factors – which helps us to design climate-friendly and sustainable cities. The visualization capacities (e.g. fly-through videos, section cuts and 3-D eye perspectives) of ENVI-met also allows us to provide our clients with complex and legible visuals – a tool not to be undervalued since many aspects of sustainability are not otherwise easily understood by the general public.”

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Dr.-Ing. E. H. Dr. h.c. Werner Sobek
Werner Sobek Holding, Stuttgart, Germany

“Our group from the University of Sao Paulo – USP has been using ENVI-met model for more than 10 years studying the effects of green in densely built environments. The model was chosen due to its advanced approach on soil-plant-atmosphere interactions, contributing for the analysis of thermal comfort in cities. ENVI-met is one of the few models that seeks to describe the major climate processes acting in the urban environment and it has been a challenge to keep up with the new features of the latest version. Currently MONDE has helped a lot in modelling the simulation scenarios for São Paulo, generating faster ways to create complex scenarios, including topography.”

Prof. Dr. Denise Helena Silva Duarte
Full Professor at the Faculty of Architecture and Urbanism
University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

“ENVI-met is a design tool that we have evaluated. It gives useful scientific information to urban planners and architectural designers for three-dimensional, high-density and complex environments, such as Hong Kong. It is very easy to learn and use, making it a good tool for education and research.”

Professor Edward NG, Yau Ling Sun
Professor of Architecture, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Architect, Environmental consultant, Honkong.

“I came across ENVI-met when looking to establish metrics for decision making during the landscape design phase for a global hospitality developer in 2016, I was amazed by the reach of the software and the service, support and knowledge of their team. I would highly recommend ENVI-met who would like to engage in serious environmental metrics.”

Alex Camprubi
Design Director, PuBang Design Institute
Guangzhou, China

“With two-thirds of the global population living in cities by 2050, it will be even more important in the future to reduce air pollutants. We are working with ENVI-met to generate a detailed analysis and evaluation of complex urban areas in preparation for the usage of our Bio-Technology. With millions of cubic meters of polluted air, it is necessary to find the best locations to implement our moss filters to achieve the highest impact for people in the surrounding community.”

Peter Sänger
CEO, Green City Solutions GmbH
Berlin, Germany

“By using ENVI-met, it was possible to make estimates about the effects of global mean temperature heating of, for example, 2° C above the pre-industrial value concretely at a specific location, e.g. could have the marketplace of a city. Using the software, it was possible to generate fundamentally important statements for decision-makers and to examine possible adaptation strategies.”

Prof.-Dr. Bernhard Lenz
Full Professor University Karlsruhe – University of Applied Sciences
Faculty of Architecture and Building construction
Karlsruhe, Germany.

“The World Urban Data Base and Access Portal Tool, WUDAPT, is an international community-based project. The active collaboration with ENVI-met will extend the current WUDAPT2ENVI-met tool from Level 0 to the forthcoming Level 1&2. The combination of WUDAPT’s Digital Synthetic Tool with ENVI-met offers a huge potential to simulate the urban microclimate in great detail for advanced urban heat island mitigation strategies and other studies.”

Dr. Jason Ching

Senior research collaborator at the Institute for the Environment, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, U.S.