The project focuses on a new development of buildings in the Cité Descartes area located approximately 20 km east from the center of Paris. Several new buildings are planned as an extension to the existing campus of the University Paris-Est Marne-la-Vallée. ENVI-met helped to reveal how changes to thermal comfort would arise from the construction of new buildings and suggested improvements to the proposed design. The initial proposed plan resulted in a 3°K increase of air temperature in large portions of the campus due to changes in ventilation and decrease of green infrastructure.
Several passive nature-based solutions (NBS) were proposed by ENVI-met to mitigate these negative effects – this included additional tree planting, usage of larger trees, replacement of impermeable surfaces with natural soil and the application of water along the main street. In addition, it was suggested to elevate two parts of the new buildings to allow an air interchange with the nearby Parc de la Butte Verte. Through the application of the suggested NBS, the air temperature could be decreased by approximately -1.5°K, which is about 50% of the negative impact created by the proposed plan.
In addition, the microclimate simulation accounts for the interaction of the proposed building with both the surrounding environment and other neighboring buildings. This provides site-specific weather data for subsequent building energy models which enables a more detailed calculation of the energy demands and potential costs.