Urban microclimate modeling for sustainable building design
Buildings in Canada consume 29% of the total energy and 58% of the electricity on an annual basis. Through optimal sustainable design, however, there is an opportunity to reduce a building’s energy consumption as high as 80%, and the remaining 20% energy consumption can be produced from renewable sources. Sustainable design requires consideration and integration of climate responsive designs, building forms, and building envelope component details. Building façade plays a crucial role in meeting building energy efficiency and internal thermal comfort demands. The primary energy use in the building is for heating and cooling and it caused primarily due to the heat flow through the façades. Window systems alone are the largest heat flow contributors for buildings. Therefore, improving window systems should take priority over improving the opaque wall thermal resistance with superior thermal performance. Traditionally window configuration design is based on predetermined fixed window-to-wall ratios, while they should be governed by the airflow, thermal variation, daylighting, viewing, and indoor air quality.