Cities & Health
Air pollution Analysis: Analysing local air quality for healthy cities
It is common sense that clean air is essential for the well-being. But high traffic density, fuel combustion, biomass burning and industries are creating a mixture of air pollutants that are major risk due to its detrimental effects on human health and the environment
Air quality conditions.
Traffic is the primary source of air pollutants in urban areas, posing significant health risks to humans, animals, and plants. Airborne pollutants, like particulate matter (PM) and chemically active gases such as NO and NO2, can travel long distances through wind transport, causing pollution even far from the original source. To better understand and address this issue, an integrated modeling analysis is needed.
Vegetation elements like trees, hedges, and green façades play a crucial role in controlling pollutant distribution. However, assessing the complex interactions between green elements, air flow, turbulence, and pollutant deposition cannot be done simplistically. ENVI-met software enables the estimation of the benefits of complex nature-based solutions by integrating pollutant dispersion modeling with high-resolution vegetation modeling.
Indoor and outdoor air quality.
Air pollution is not just an outdoor issue. Opening windows or using air conditioning can bring outdoor pollutants inside. The quality of the air you get when you open your window depends on the microscale wind patterns around the building. ENVI-met software analyzes wind flow and pollutant transport for each façade segment of a building with a resolution down to one meter.
Analyzing Air Pollution through Simulation of Site-Specific Scenarios: High-Resolution Modeling Case Study
Analysis of air pollution by simulating site-specific scenarios
ENVI-met’s pollution dispersion module allows you to simulate the synchronous release, dispersion and deposition of up to six different pollutants including particles, passive gases and reactive gases.
Sedimentation and deposition on surfaces and vegetation are taken into account, as well as photochemical reactions between NO, NO₂, and Ozone (O₃). ENVI-met also accounts for the release of BVOC through plants.
The results can be used to better understand the dynamics of local pollutant dispersion and guide the development of urban streetscapes for the improvement of air quality and human health.
Improving Outdoor Thermal Comfort through Comprehensive Modeling Analysis
Human well-being is greatly influenced by the subjective perception of temperature, which is intricately linked to factors such as solar radiation, wind patterns, air temperature, and humidity. With ENVI-met’s comprehensive environmental analysis, we empower urban planners and designers to create spaces that prioritize optimal thermal comfort for individuals, fostering healthier and more liveable environments.
Urban Heat Island.
The urban heat island phenomenon encompasses varying degrees of heat accumulation within neighborhoods and entire city quarters. To comprehensively understand the thermal behavior of a city at the block or district level, it is crucial to perform dynamic simulations that consider all causal elements. These elements include surface and wall temperatures, wind flow patterns, vegetation transpiration, and soil wetness. By integrating all these factors into the simulation process, ENVI-met software enables multi-perspective analysis of the urban system, encompassing building physics, vegetation health, and human thermal comfort.
Urban neighbourhoods are a patchwork of different microclimates. The multitude of different materials, buildings and vegetation builds a patchwork of very different microclimate conditions within close range of each other. Shaded backyards and urban parks can provide cool pockets and recreational areas even under hot summer conditions. To understand and analyse the impact of redesign and heat mitigation strategies, a continuous simulation of least 24 hours must run to capture all the different heating and cooling effects in an urban area.
Human Thermal Perception.
Human perception of temperature is influenced by meteorological factors such as wind, solar and thermal radiation, air temperature, and humidity. To gain insights into how humans experience thermal conditions, biometeorological models are utilized. ENVI-met’s BIO-met module, for example, calculates the physiological equivalent temperature (PET), which relates outdoor conditions to an imagined indoor setting. In addition, the Dynamic Thermal Comfort tool allows to simulate and assess the thermal comfort experienced by a moving pedestrian.
Holistic analysis of vegetation and thermal comfort of people:
High-Resolution Modeling Case Study
Holistic analysis of vegetation and thermal comfort of people
ENVI-met allows you to analyse the design impacts on the local environment, through the specification of ground plane and building materials, and the implementation of vegetation on walls or roofs of any conceivable configuration to help mitigate factors such as urban heat stress.
The software automatically calculates mean radiant temperature when running simulations and can be analysed using the included data visualizer, Leonardo.
In addition, with the post-processing tool BIO-met you can calculate human comfort indices such as PMV (Predicted Mean Vote) and PET (Physiological Equivalent Temperature), which summarizes the impact of the four main atmospheric variables: Air Temperature, Radiative Temperature, Wind Speed and Humidity.