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Paper w78-2011-Paper-144:
Energy efficiency assessment in urban environments using GIS

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A Mediavilla, A Romero, J Pérez,F J Mata

Energy efficiency assessment in urban environments using GIS

Abstract:Energy simulation tools are commonly used in building design processes. Their calculation methods are comprehensive and widely accepted. However, the increasing requirements imposed to comply with low emission urban scenarios demand a wider scope analysis, taking into account not only the building, but also the interactions between urban elements (buildings, green areas, urban lighting…). GIS technology seems suitable for this purpose, but current solutions do not include deep energy demand calculations. On the other hand, building simulation tools do not consider the city environment and terrain influence. To evaluate a district by manually adding single building simulations results is an overwhelming process, prone to errors and very time-consuming.In this scenario, urban planners demand Decision Support Systems that go beyond traditional building-scope simulation engines and consider both building and urban-level variables in order to assess the energy efficiency of the urban design.Aware of this issue, the platform presented in this paper fills this gap between building and city approaches. It consists of an ArcGIS customisation, implementing energy simulation models for radiation, energy demands, consumption, energy costs and CO2 emissions. The results are simulated and visualized at different levels (façades, buildings and city). Thus, it is possible to benchmark the district against a reference scenario and certify the sustainability of a district. It has been validated with a new urban development scenario in northern Spain.The platform seamlessly integrates CAD cartography, GIS geoprocessing and the calculation strength of excel sheets, enhanced with 3D energy mapping outputs which can be seen in Google Earth. It does not require deep technical knowledge, being suited for multicriteria analysis. Its modularity allows extending it with future extensions.

Keywords:GIS, energy efficiency, low carbon cities, urban planning, simulation

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Series:w78:2011 (browse)
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