Impacts of Microclimate Conditions on the Energy Performance of Buildings in Urban Areas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Urbanization trends have changed the morphology of cities in the past decades. Complex urban areas with wide variations in built density, layout typology, and architectural form have resulted in more complicated microclimate conditions. Microclimate conditions affect the energy performance of buildings and bioclimatic design strategies as well as a high number of engineering applications. However, commercial energy simulation engines that utilize widely-available mesoscale weather data tend to underestimate these impacts. These weather files, which represent typical weather conditions at a location, are mostly based on long-term metrological observations and fail to consider extreme conditions in their calculation. This paper aims to evaluate the impacts of hourly microclimate data in typical and extreme climate conditions on the energy performance of an office building in two different urban areas. Results showed that the urban morphology can reduce the wind speed by 27% and amplify air temperature by more than 14%. Using microclimate data, the calculated outside surface temperature, operating temperature and total energy demand of buildings were notably different to those obtained using typical regional climate model (RCM)–climate data or available weather files (Typical Meteorological Year or TMY), i.e., by 61%, 7%, and 21%, respectively. The difference in the hourly peak demand during extreme weather conditions was around 13%. The impact of urban density and the final height of buildings on the results are discussed at the end of the paper.


External organisations
  • Chalmers University of Technology
  • Queensland University of Technology
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Building Technologies


  • urban microclimate, extreme weather conditions, energy performance, urban areas, CFD simulations
Original languageEnglish
Article number189
Number of pages19
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Aug 16
Publication categoryResearch