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Urban heat island effect and the impact of urbanization

Discuss about the Investigating The Awareness And Application.

Cities are expanding and moving toward megacities that have high density or urban planning, thin corridors and steep increase in urban structures. The rise in urbanization had created the urban environment deterioration because the housing plot size had reduced; therefore, it has increased density and crowded greenery (David and Nicholas, 1995). Cities are recording increase in temperature as compared to non-urban regions, and this phenomenon is known as urban heat island. Previous studies had shown that strong tie exists among urban morphology and the rise in air temperature in city centres (Barrett, Sexton and Green, 1999). It is noted that urban structure absorbs the solar heat at the daytime and release the same during night time (Ruggieri, Cadena, Martinez-Blanco, Gasol, Rieradevall and Gabarrell, 2010). Dense areas also try to trap the heat that is released through urban structures in the urban environment, lead to the rise in air temperature as compared to the nearby rural regions and create UHI impact. UHI impacts the street level thermal comfort, quality of the environment, health and it might raise the demand for urban energy (Gibberd, 2001).

With the increase in buildings and related infrastructure to cope up with the increased city population, a massive amount of resources is needed for operation, construction, and building maintenance. In spite of the importance of building as the resource in both operation and maintenance, it hugely relies on the design quality (Abidin, 2010). In the past years, there is a significant impact on the Green building design with the primary aim to build the buildings even more sustainable through reducing the use of resources in operation, construction, and building maintenance (Griffith, 1994). The system of building like, lighting and air conditioning is referred energy guzzlers that can try to consume around 60% of the total consumption of energy and its known as the commercial building. It can also affect the quality of indoor environment. Therefore, the efficiency of energy of the system is essential. The material selection that can reduce the embodied energy and waste construction is essential (Hill and Bowen, 1997).

The multifaceted relationship among the built environment as well as microclimate is the main reason behind promoting sustainable theme within building and design practice (Ortiz, Pasqualino and Castells, 2010). There is a considerable body of research studies and knowledge about this topic; still, for understanding it entirely about microclimate effect on the built environment, it’s quite tricky. The complete ecology system includes various systems that are huge to get quantified as well as depicted in models and numbers (Kibert, 1994). Nevertheless, this inadequate position of present knowledge related to the urban relationship of climate should not become a reason to be indirect towards corrective actions in the process of design. Engineers and planners are expected to see the design process with the right analysis over all the ecological aspects, in which concern is usually placed not only on current time but also on upcoming time (Loh, 2000). In the past years, many studies had been conducted to develop the models, techniques, the platform of simulation, etc., for the architects and urban planners for analysing the effect of design over different parameters of the environment (Zimmermann, Althaus and Haas, 2005). One crucial aspect that depicts the highly tremendous progress in urban climate study deals through the problem of UHI, urban noise, urban airflow, daylighting, air pollution, as well as outdoor thermal comfort. In the current years, it is analysed that modelling techniques placed over the map in the urban climate such as solar radiation, temperature, wind and daylighting are developed so that it can support in guiding the urban design (Miyatake, 1996). Different measures of mitigation like the greenery integration with the urban structures, cool roof material implementation, enhancement in urban airflow, and anthropogenic heat controls are researched to a great extent (Miyatake, 1996).

Sustainable design and the need for green buildings

At the level of the building, there is true progress in the performance modeling of buildings and the related systems like energy, thermal, acoustic, lighting, quality of indoor air with high certainty and precession.  Through the information technology advancement, high use of sensors as well as control systems is analyzed in buildings lead to proper performance and efficiency of energy in buildings (Miyatake, 1996). At the level of material, it is noted that Nanotechnology is implemented for developing the building material, which can assist in enhancing the building performance like improving the acoustical and thermal insulation, permitting the daylighting by the help of glazing system but minimizing the heat entry. The life cycle analysis concept is also launched that can quickly analyze the embodied resource body all around the complete construction of life cycle (Miyatake, 1996). This also led towards the better resource control usage during the planning, designing, operation, and construction of the building.

Despite the advancement in research and development in the construction of environment as analysed in the previous section, there are still critical issues to be examined. One important aspect is related to the combination of such practices ongoing in the design process (Pitt, Tucker, Riley and Longden, 2009). It is noted that even most of the designers view the task as the responsibility of consultants, instead of part or either parcel of design work (Noah and Bradley, 1996). Therefore, it’s crucial that more research should be undertaken for combining the modelling approach and process of design (Ortiz, Castells and Sonnemann, 2009). Through the Building information modelling (BIM) advancement, it will serve as the right way for combination to take place. It also permits the have the right mix of various simulation methods, to attain a correct understanding of the relationship among simulation model to take place (Porter, 1991). Presently, there is a lack of proper analysis of inter-relationship among building and urban system. This type of analysis is essential as studies depict the microclimate that is governed by the urban region and has a vital effect on energy, lighting and thermal performance of the building. Presently, there are many research task going at the urban level with the application of geographical information system (GIS). The research of this type of inter-relationship among the urban and building system might facilitate through the proper combination of BIM and GIS (Roberts, 1997).

Economic issues are related to the limitation of budget and financial achievement for the interior and client design practice. As per Roodman and Lensen (1995), certain reasons impact the company’s ability to become part of the sustainable area that includes: inappropriate funds, the motive of financial gain, proof that buyers try to seek towards sustainable buildings, funds which are permitted to other causes and challenging process of permission to mention a few (Roodman and Lensen, 1995). The most popular of all these reasons is probably that related with irrelevant amount. It is noted that green items are priced importantly more as compared to conventional elements and make conscientious client budget that is selected reluctantly (Nelms, Russell and Lence, 2007).

The relationship between built environment and microclimate

Price should not be considered an impediment towards project progress, which could be sustainable (John, Clements-Croome and Jeronimidis, 2005). It is noted that designers should try to inform the customers, not just about the starting cost of the item, but also an extra replacement, and maintenance cost related to conventional materials. Familiarly applied in LEED Rating systems in the context of life cycle price that mainly evaluates the item economic performance over the complete span of life (Shen and Tam, 2002).

The present environment depicts the extensive series of issues, which act as a barrier to the sustainable design progress. As per Stavins (1996), environmental challenges cover policy maker of government for creating recommendation and structure of government, which can comfortably accommodate the decision making for the long term, develop communication connection with various other cities, and lack policies for enhancing choices (Burgan and Sansom, 2006). Present legislation over the green buildings is precisely considered as the patchwork for multiple cities or either building regulation of countries. Various corporations and universities around the United States had also implemented the individual measures for migrating the sustainable buildings (Wong, 2015). The currently explored International Green Construction Code (IGCC) seeks to bring change in a situation through offering baseline provision for examining the simple issues of sustainability. It will also permit the individual jurisdiction to include the jurisdictional electives for rightly reflecting the local needs and situation (Wong, 2015).

It is envisioned that in the coming time, there will be universal development and combined model, which could embed the complete building and urban models. It also permits to have a seamless combination of the two level of the model (Yahya and Boussabaine, 2010). This will try to facilitate the development in the conditions of the boundary, which is generated through the urban model, which is easily used by the building model for simulation. For instance, it is noted that simulation can undertake the temperature and wind distribution at the urban level and such information could be used through the building model for having the complete simulations of both temperature n wind condition going inside the building (Wong, 2015).

Other significant development can be combined with sensors with an urban model to master the plan and for creating the smart cities (Ugwu, Kumaraswamy, Wong and Ng, 2006). Such information at the level of the urban region will be propagated at the building level, to accurately analyse the effect on energy and performance of the building (Osmani, Glass and Price, 2008). At the building level, right integration of sensor information and simulation performance can be attained and therefore, the same result into the proper efficiency of energy and building performance (Wong, 2015). There should be more combination of user behaviour with simulation performance.

Challenges faced in implementing sustainable design practices


Presently, the research conducted in the sustainable design and construction seems to look quite fragmented. It I crucial to develop a more holistic approach to the better analysis of the relationship among building, urban, urban building, and material. It is also essential that these analyses need to be propagated all around the process of building delivery through the inception towards design, operation, and maintenance of the building environment. Adaptive reuse also increases the life of building through ignoring the demolition waste creation, and protect the embodied energy, which is appropriately identified to contribute towards decreasing low carbon emissions, reducing the change in climate and attain sustainable development.

Adaptive reuse of the antique buildings has rapidly seemed too emerged in the urban building conservation, especially in developing countries. While saving the heritage building value and providing building with the current use, the historic building reuse can also improve the social and economic is revealed by practitioners that attaining the low carbon needs to have a holistic reference of social, economic, political and environmental concern that includes the four fundamental pillars of sustainability framework. Therefore, the ongoing application of the heritage building needs to embrace the efficiency of energy, cost effectiveness, low emission of carbon, harmonized relationship with the nearby environment, social equity as well as cultural identity. Above all such this, political assistance is required for facilitating the low emission of carbon.


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