One page descriptions of a technique or action for a given designer, planner, engineer or project manager to take.
What Is It?
Microclimate analysis is not just the minimizing of the site footprint, or responding appropriately to topography and geotechnical information. Responding specifically to a site includes not just the soil, but the microclimate as well. Microclimate factors are critical to the successful position of a project to take advantage of "free" energy and resources.
The designer should understand the path of the sun, the amount and distribution of rainfall, and the wind profile of the site to fathom how best to harness these natural resources, and how best to minimize some of their negative impacts. Designers must understand the flow of available sun, wind, light, and water through the site and building for beneficial use, to help reduce or eliminate the need to convert outside sources of energy to heating, cooling, and lighting.
Microclimate elements and some impact areas:
Detailed microclimate engineering studies, which provide data and information to test design solutions, involve numeric and physical modeling. Numeric modeling uses computers and sophisticated software to create a numbering representation of the project, apply the appropriate microclimate conditions (relying on historic weather data, or projected climate change information) to solve mathematical equations and determine the effect of a given microclimate condition on the project. Computational Fluid Dynamics computer modeling represents the most sophisticated and complex numerical modeling, and shows the flow of air and heat over the project.
Physical models address the limitations in representation of numeric models. Physical model testing of microclimate (generally wind) issues is important for projects that have complex shapes or surroundings that make it difficult to determine the nuances and specific impacts, of wind flows on the project. Wind Tunnels and water flumes are methods for physically modeling flows around a mockup of project.
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