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Impact of reflective materials on urban canyon albedo, outdoor and indoor microclimates

Salvati, Agnese, Kolokotroni, M., Watkins, Richard, Giridharan, R., Nikolopoulou, Marialena (2021) Impact of reflective materials on urban canyon albedo, outdoor and indoor microclimates. Building and Environment, 207 . Article Number 108459. ISSN 0360-1323. (doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.108459) (KAR id:91397)

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Abstract

The urban canyon albedo (UCA) quantifies the ability of street canyons to reflect solar radiation back to the sky. The UCA is controlled by the solar reflectance of road and façades and the street geometry. This study investigates the variability of UCA in a typical residential area of London and its impact on outdoor and indoor microclimates. The results are based on radiation measurements in real urban canyons and on a 1:10 physical model and simulations using ENVImet v 4.4.6 and EnergyPlus. Different scenarios with increased solar reflectance of roads and façades were simulated to investigate the impact on UCA and street level microclimate. The results showed that increasing the road reflectance has high absolute and relative impact on UCA in wide canyons. In deeper canyons, the absolute impact of the road reflectance is reduced while the relative impact of the walls’ reflectance is increased. Results also showed that increasing surface reflectance in urban canyons has a detrimental impact on outdoor thermal comfort, due to increased interreflections between surfaces leading to higher mean radiant temperatures. Increasing the road reflectance also increases the incident diffuse radiation on adjacent buildings, producing a small increase in indoor operative temperatures. The findings were used to discuss the best design strategies to improve the urban thermal environment by using reflective materials in urban canyons without compromising outdoor thermal comfort or indoor thermal environments.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1016/j.buildenv.2021.108459
Uncontrolled keywords: Urban albedo, urban canyon, reflective materials, urban microclimate, outdoor thermal comfort, solar radiation
Subjects: T Technology
T Technology > TH Building construction
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > Kent School of Architecture and Planning
Depositing User: Giridharan Renganathan
Date Deposited: 07 Nov 2021 21:06 UTC
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2021 11:48 UTC
Resource URI: https://kar.kent.ac.uk/id/eprint/91397 (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)
Watkins, Richard: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-3071-9510
Giridharan, R.: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-8627-5616
Nikolopoulou, Marialena: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-0528-2145
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