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A Climatic Responsive Urban Planning Model

A Climatic Responsive Urban Planning Model

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Published by: stevekardinaljusuf on Jan 12, 2012
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International Journal of Sustainable Building Technology and Urban Development / December 2011323
Title No. SUSB-2011/026 http://dx.doi.org/10.5390/SUSB.2011.2.4.323
SUSB JournalTechnical Pape
A Climatic Responsive Urban Planning Model for High Density City: Singapore’sCommercial District
Wong Nyuk Hien, Steve Kardinal Jusuf, Rosita Samsudin, Anseina Eliza, and Marcel Ignatius
Local climate condition and urban morphology affect air temperature generated within urban canopy layer which related to urbanheat island (UHI) intensity and later impacts on outdoor thermal comfort and urban energy usage. Climatic responsive urbanplanning by careful consideration on urban morphology parameters of urban corridor width, building height, urban surface materials,sky view factor (SVF) and vegetation help to improve urban environment quality. This study mainly focuses on commercialdistrict and observes impacts of various urban structures configurations towards air temperature by interpolating climatic andurban morphology predictors. The urban structures indeed show relation with level of air temperature generated althoughvegetation also contributes in reducing air temperature through its evapotranspiration process. Therefore the understanding of relation between urban morphology with thermal performance and UHI benefits in future urban planning and development.
Urban morphology, Temperature map, Urban heat island (UHI), Singapore’s commercial district
Cities are growing towards megacities with higher densityurban planning, narrower urban corridors and more high-rise urban structures. This urban transformation causesday-time and night-time urban heat island (UHI) whichleads to declining of urban environment quality. Earlierstudies show strong relation between urban morphologyand increasing air temperature within cities center. Urbanstructures absorb solar heat during day-time and release itduring night-time. Densely built area tends to trap the heatwhen it is released from urban structures into urbanenvironment, increases urban air temperature compared tosurrounding rural areas and causes UHI effect. UHI affectsstreet level thermal comfort, health, environment qualityand may cause increase of urban energy demand.In a built environment at micro-scale, buildings andvegetation influences the incident solar radiation receivedby urban surface. This is determined by the openness of anurban surface which is called as sky view factor (SVF) asmentioned by Cleugh in his study [1]. SVF explains the percentage of a point’s field of view that is occupied by thesky as opposed to the buildings, trees or any other objectsin the landscape. Oke -1987 [2] also related both SVF andheight-to-width ratio of urban canyon with UHI intensity.The lower SVF value the higher urban air temperature.Geographically, Singapore is located between latitudes1
09' North and 1
29' South, longitudes 103
36' East and104
25' East. By its location, Singapore falls within hothumid climate region with characteristics of uniform hightemperature, humidity and rainfall throughout the year [3].Singapore as the most developed country within SoutheastAsian region has been experiencing rapid urban development.Commercial district is one of the highly developed areaswhich allows higher building site coverage and plot ratiowith rows of high-rise buildings for residential and commercialusage to encourage the country's strong economic growth.Current Singapore’s urban planning policy for commercialdistrict allows high rise developments with plot ratioranging from 5 to more than 11.2 which can be translatedto building height ranging from 25 to more than 50 storeysheight.A study conducted by Wong [4] observed from thesatellite image that UHI in Singapore is seen during day-time with ‘hot spots’ were identified on commercial districtsbesides airport and industrial areas. However, ‘cool spots’were identified as well on large parks, the landscape inbetween housing estates and the catchment area. Jusut etal. [5] studied the relation between land use and ambienttemperature as shown in Fig.1. It is seen that during day-time commercial district experienced lower temperaturecompared to other land uses. But during night-time, itexperienced higher temperature.Local climate condition is the existing factor that permanently affecting macro and micro climate condition.Katzschner [6] mentioned that climate is an ever existingfactor in a built environment and the study about climatecondition is purposed to improve the climate condition andto reduce the negative micro climate effects. Mills [7] proposed that examining the relationship between urbanforms and climate can employ the results of urban climatology
Corresponding author.
-mail address: marcel.ignatius@nus.edu.sg Article historyReceived November 4, 2011 Accepted December 23, 2011©2011 SUSB Press. All rights reserved.
324 SUSB Vol.2 No.4 Dec.2011W. Hien, S. Jusuf, R. Samsudin, A. Eliza, and M. Ignatius
into urban design guidelines.To improve the urban environment quality and mitigateUHI effect, a climatic map of an urban area is possible tobe developed by using Geographic Information System(GIS) platform with analysis on different information layers.Climatic mapping method has become widely used forurban planning from macro to micro level and can be usedas reference for future urban planning and development.The objective of this study is to see how different designoptions can be explored on developing a block within ahighly dense urban area, along with their impact on therelated urban microclimatic condition (in this case, urbantemperature on pedestrian level). The design options variationare limited on varying building massing and building physicaldimension accordingly, within the same plot ratio control.
STEVE has been developed based on the air temperature prediction models. These prediction models were based onthe empirical data collected over a period of close to 3 years as part of the development of an assessment methodto evaluate the impact of estate development, which includesthe assessment method of existing greenery condition [8]and greenery condition for a proposed master plan in anestate development [9].In the development of the empirical model, air temperaturedata that has been gathered in the previous studies werecombined with the most recent data, which includes estate-wide and canyon types of measurements. The measurement points cover various types of land uses, including residential,commercial, business park, education, industrial, park, openspace and sport facility.Daily minimum (
), average (
) and maximum(
) temperature of each point of measurements werecalculated as the dependent variable of the air temperature prediction model. The independent variables for the modelscan be categorized into:Climate predictors:
daily minimum (Ref Tmin), average(Ref Tavg) and maximum (Ref Tmax) temperature
at reference point;
average of daily solar radiation
(SOLAR). For theSOLAR predictor, average of daily solar radiation total(SOLARtotal) was used in Tavg models, while average of solar radiation maximum of the day (SOLARmax) was usedin the Tmax model. SOLAR predictor is not applicable forTmin model. These data are obtained from the weatherstation.Urban morphology predictors:
 percentage of pavement area over R 50m surface
area (PAVE),
average height tobuilding area ratio
total wall surface area
Nyuk Hien Wong
is Associate Professor in the Department of Building, National University of Singapore. His area of expertise and research interestsincludes urban heat island, urban greenery, thermal comfort in the tropicsand building energy simulation. He is the principal investigator of a numberof research projects in collaboration with the various government agenciesin Singapore. Prof. Wong has published more than 150 international referred journal and conference papers and was the co-authors of 3 books on rooftopand urban greenery and has been invited to deliver keynote papers andresearch findings in various conferences and symposiums. He has also beeninvited to serve in the various advisory committees both locally andinternationally.
Steve Kardinal Jusuf 
has a Ph.D. degree in Building Science from theDepartment of Building, National University of Singapore. Currently he is a Research Fellow at Centre for Sustainable Asian Cities, NUS. His researchinterests include urban microclimate and urban climatic mapping withGeographical Information Systems. He has worked in a number of research projects with various Singapore government agencies, mainly on urbanclimatic mapping for sustainable urban development.
Rosita Samsudin
is Research Assistant at Centre for Sustainable AsianCities, NUS. She is architect in practice and holds master degree in buildingscience from Department of Building, NUS. Her research interests includeurban heat island, urban climatic mapping, outdoor thermal comfort,sustainable building and urban development.
Anseina Eliza
is a Master Graduate in Building Science at Department of Building, National University of Singapore. Topic of this paper embarksfrom her Independent Study research, with Dr. Wong Nyuk Hien as hersupervisor, which highlights the building morphology and density effect onurban temperature. Currently, she is working at green building consultant.
Marcel Ignatius
is currently a PhD candidate at Department of Building, National University of Singapore, under Prof. Wong Nyuk Hien supervision.The focus of his research is mostly on urban climatic mapping and temperaturemodel for urban morphology in Singapore. He was a research assistant inCentre of Sustainable Asian Cities (CSAC) at NUS in 2009, and he has donehis Master Degree in Building Science from the same university in 2008.
Urban Heat Island profile in Singapore (Source: Jusuf et al., 2007)
International Journal of Sustainable Building Technology and Urban Development / December 2011325
Green Plot Ratio
sky view factor
(SVF) andaverage surface albedo (ALB). These data are provided bythe government agency and cross-checked by field survey.Before the model was developed, the radius of influencearea was determined. A radius of 50 meter was deemed asa suitable one after a series of influence area study bycomparing radius value from 25100m (see Fig.2). Thetemperature models were then developed by examining thevariables regression coefficient values and their correlationswith the dependent variables.Wind speed, one of the most common variables, wasexcluded in the model development, since the models focuson calm day conditions (wind speed < 3m/s). Meanwhilefor another common variable, altitude was excluded fromthe model development since the data collected showedaltitude has a very little influence on air temperaturecondition.In the first stage of model development, trend analysis wasdone to identify and discuss the behaviour of the models’variables (based on the data collected on field measurement),by examining the variables’ regression coefficient valuesand their correlations with the dependent variable. Not allof the independent variables are significant. However, it isimportant to analyze how these variables behave in determiningthe air temperature. The next stage is to develop the airtemperature prediction models that use only the significantvariables.The air temperature regression models were developedbased on the data collected over a period of close to 3 years. It is necessary to validate the models with another period of measurement data, which in this case, with fairlyclear and calm day conditions (wind speed < 3 m/s).The air temperature prediction models can be written asfollows:
 Ref T 
(%) –0.193
+1.339E-06 WALL (m
 Ref T 
 – 0.015
Sample of urban area measurement point in influence area radius of 25 m, 50 m, 75 m and 100 m. Source [8]

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