Sun & Wind

Solar Radiation

Of all the microclimate elements, solar radiation has the highest spatial and temporal variation within urban areas. Shading from buildings and other large elements in combination with the reflection of radiation on bright or glass façades can create complex patterns of radiation fluxes.

The Urban Heat Island effect will increase in coming decades. However, this trend is not yet taken into account in many climate model projections and is rarely factored into the criteria of urban planning, despite the forecast of a significant increase in urbanisation in the coming decades.

High-resolution modelling of solar radiation in complex environments

Building façades and roofs represent the largest proportion of sun-exposed surfaces in urban areas. The energy available at the building‘s outer envelope provides a basis to determine the energy-related processes of the building, from its solar energy harvesting potential to its cooling demand.

The module Solar Access of ENVI-met allows you to conduct a quick but comprehensive analysis of solar radiation on all building façades, taking into account the environmental factors such as vegetation.

Solar Access also generates  long-term analyses of important climate parameters such as solar access and offers sophisticated three-dimensional analysis tools to calculate and trace the distribution of short-wave direct, diffuse and reflected solar radiation within the outdoor environment with a high temporal and spatial resolution.

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Wind Flow

The increase of weather extremes is considered the greatest risk of climate change. The frequency and intensity of strong wind events is increasing worldwide, but the extent to which wind dynamics cause devastating damage depends heavily on building density and building components.

ENVI-met simulations employ computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to analyse and solve problems that involve windflows in complex environments.

High-resolution simulation of the wind flow

Due to the three-dimensional structure and building arrangement within cities, it is possible to experience areas with high wind speeds and turbulent wind gusts.

The opposite situation can be found in the immediate vicinity of those areas. Zones with very low wind speed and stagnating air masses can increase the effect of heat stress, the accumulation of pollutants and promote the development of pest species in vegetation.

The wind pattern at the building canvas is an important parameter for all energetic exchange processes and for the calculation of wind loads. The three-dimensional flow model of ENVI-met allows you to conduct a detailed simulation of the flow patterns at the building facade – including the impact of facade greening.

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