Impact of Climate Change on Buildings and Urban Thermal Environments

A special issue of Buildings (ISSN 2075-5309). This special issue belongs to the section "Building Energy, Physics, Environment, and Systems".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 30 June 2024 | Viewed by 6108

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
School of Geomatics and Urban Spatial Informatics, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Beijing, China
Interests: urban remote sensing and urban–rural development; land use change; urban climatology; interaction between humans and the environment
School of Geomatics and Urban Spatial Informatics, Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture, Beijing, China
Interests: high-resolution remote sensing image analysis; urban thermal space remote sensing analysis; urban remote sensing change detection; urban natural disaster emergency management

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

We are pleased to announce the forthcoming Special Issue, "Impact of Climate Change on Buildings and Urban Thermal Environments". Climate change is a pressing global issue that has far-reaching implications for the built environment and the thermal conditions of urban areas. As greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise, the world is witnessing shifts in temperature, altered precipitation patterns, and an increase in extreme weather events. These changes directly affect buildings and the urban thermal environment, presenting significant challenges for energy consumption, human health, and urban sustainability.

The aim of this Special Issue is to delve into the multifaceted effects of climate change on buildings and the surrounding urban fabric, fostering a deeper understanding of the complexities and interdependencies between climate patterns, building design and operation, urban development, and the resulting thermal conditions. We invite researchers and practitioners from diverse disciplines, including architecture, urban planning, engineering, environmental science, public health, and remote sensing, to contribute their original research, case studies, and reviews as we seek to enhance our collective knowledge and generate innovative solutions to address the challenges posed by climate change in the built environment.

The scope of this Special Issue encompasses, but is not confined to, the following themes:

  • Climate change projections and their implications for building design, operation, and performance.
  • Urban heat island effects and their exacerbation under changing climatic conditions.
  • Adaptation strategies for buildings and urban areas to mitigate the impact of climate change.
  • Impacts of climate change on the thermal performance of buildings and the associated energy demand.
  • Understanding the role of building forms, including their size, shape, orientation, and layout, in the urban surface energy balance, e.g., anthropogenic heat.
  • Sustainable building materials and technologies for climate change resilience.
  • Innovative building design strategies, e.g., two- and three-dimensional building forms, for mitigating the impact of climate change on urban thermal environments and local climates.
  • Health impacts of climate-change-induced thermal stress and their implications for building design and urban planning.
  • Role of green infrastructure in mitigating the effects of climate change on the urban thermal environment.
  • Numerical modeling and simulation techniques for assessing the impacts of climate change on buildings, urban thermal environments, and local climates.
  • Policy frameworks and governance mechanisms for addressing climate change challenges in the built environment.

Authors are encouraged to submit original research papers or comprehensive reviews that contribute to the understanding of the impact of climate change on buildings and the urban thermal environment. Manuscripts should adhere to the journal’s formatting guidelines and be submitted online through the journal's submission system. All submissions will undergo a rigorous peer-review process to ensure the quality and relevance of the published articles.

We look forward to receiving your valuable contributions and to fostering a vibrant and interdisciplinary dialogue on the impact of climate change on buildings and the urban thermal environment.

Dr. Shisong Cao
Dr. Qiang Chen
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Buildings is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2600 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • climatic change
  • local climate zone
  • buildings
  • two-/three-dimensional building structure
  • urban thermal environment
  • urban heat island
  • adaptive strategies
  • green infrastructure
  • heat mitigation
  • energy consumption

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

34 pages, 16902 KiB  
Article
A Community Information Model and Wind Environment Parametric Simulation System for Old Urban Area Microclimate Optimization: A Case Study of Dongshi Town, China
by Yanyan Huang, Ruixin Tu, Wutikeer Tuerxun, Xudong Jia, Xu Zhang and Xiaokang Chen
Buildings 2024, 14(3), 832; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14030832 - 19 Mar 2024
Viewed by 733
Abstract
In the context of an increasingly extreme climate, Urban Heat Island (UHI) mitigation of communities through ventilation has recently attracted more attention. To explore the impact mechanisms of different morphological renovation schemes on its wind and thermal environment, this paper selected the Laozheng [...] Read more.
In the context of an increasingly extreme climate, Urban Heat Island (UHI) mitigation of communities through ventilation has recently attracted more attention. To explore the impact mechanisms of different morphological renovation schemes on its wind and thermal environment, this paper selected the Laozheng Community as a case study and: (1) analyzed measured data to quantitatively investigate the UHI within the community; (2) established the CIM-WTEPS system to construct community information models and to conduct wind environment parametric simulation for seven micro-renovation schemes across three levels; (3) performed correlation analyses between morphology indicators and wind environment indicators; (4) conducted the thermal environment parametric simulation of the community under different schemes. The results reveal that: (1) the Laozheng Community exhibits the Urban Heat Island Intensity (UHII) of up to 6 °C; (2) apart from the “ Hollowing “ scheme, which deteriorates the community wind environment, all other schemes optimize it, potentially increasing the average wind speed by up to 0.03m/s and in the renovated area by up to 0.42 m/s; (3) building density is highly correlated with the average wind speed and the proportion of calm wind area, with correlation coefficients of −0.916 (p < 0.01) and 0.894 (p < 0.01), respectively; (4) the adding of shading facilities can enhance the proportion of areas with lower Universal Thermal Climate Index (UTCI) without adversely affecting the optimization effects of the wind environment, achieving an maximum increase of 3.1%. This study provides a reference for optimizing the community’s microclimate through morphological micro-renovations and detailed operations, aiding designers in better controlling community morphology for in future community renewal and design planning, thereby creating a more hospitable outdoor environment. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Buildings and Urban Thermal Environments)
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26 pages, 47346 KiB  
Article
Study of the Correlation between the Urban Wind–Heat Environment and Urban Development Elements in High-Density Urban Areas: A Case Study of Central Shanghai
by Jiaxuan Li, Zhen Yang, Xu Zhao, Yu Li, Xiaowen Huang, Yihan Chen and Fangzhou Shi
Buildings 2024, 14(2), 315; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings14020315 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 803
Abstract
To prevent damage to human life and health caused by high temperatures and extreme weather and to promote sustainable urban development, it is necessary to optimize the layout of urban development elements to improve the urban wind–heat environment. Taking the high-density urban area [...] Read more.
To prevent damage to human life and health caused by high temperatures and extreme weather and to promote sustainable urban development, it is necessary to optimize the layout of urban development elements to improve the urban wind–heat environment. Taking the high-density urban area of Shanghai as an example, this study used wavelet analysis to investigate the cyclic changes of the average annual temperature of Shanghai from 1950 to 2022 and the average annual wind speed of Shanghai from 2000 to 2020. The correlation between the urban heat environment and the urban development elements was analyzed using geographically weighted regression. The correlation was then examined using BP neural network, and finally, the impacts of different urban spatial patterns on the wind environment were analyzed using CFD numerical simulation. The results show that the average annual temperature of Shanghai city has an overall upward trend, with significant cycles of 44 and 32 years that are shortening over time. The average annual wind speed has a downward trend, with a significant main cycle of 22 years. Greening and water coverage, as well as the floor area ratio, have a significant reducing effect on surface temperature, whereas building density is positively correlated with surface temperature. Building density has a significant reducing effect on wind speed, whereas the effect of floor area ratio is not significant. The effect of building density on wind speed is significantly weakened, whereas the effect of the floor area ratio is not significant. This study provides valuable references for Shanghai and other high-density cities to optimize urban spatial patterns in order to improve the safety and comfort of the urban wind–heat environments. This study is of significant importance and value in promoting sustainable urban development, protecting the health of urban residents, and advancing spatial justice and equal well-being. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Buildings and Urban Thermal Environments)
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23 pages, 24512 KiB  
Article
Design and Management of a Spatial Database for Monitoring Building Comfort and Safety
by Ming Guo, Huihui Qi, Youshan Zhao, Yang Liu, Jiawei Zhao and Ying Zhang
Buildings 2023, 13(12), 2982; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13122982 - 29 Nov 2023
Viewed by 1033
Abstract
As the impacts of climate change on urban environments and buildings become more and more prominent, building comfort and structural safety monitoring becomes crucial. However, efficiently storing and managing the multi-source monitoring data generated during the long-term monitoring process has been an urgent [...] Read more.
As the impacts of climate change on urban environments and buildings become more and more prominent, building comfort and structural safety monitoring becomes crucial. However, efficiently storing and managing the multi-source monitoring data generated during the long-term monitoring process has been an urgent challenge. In order to solve the above problems, this paper designs and develops a spatial database management system for building comfort and structural safety monitoring based on standard database development tools. A conceptual model of a spatial database for building comfort and structural safety monitoring is proposed, and the entities, attributes, and connections in the model are discussed to transform the E-R conceptual model into a logical model supported by an object-relational spatial database management system. Based on this conceptual and logical model, a mainstream backend framework was adopted and combined with common database and programming language tools and BIM (Building Information Modeling) technology for development to establish a spatial database management system with data storage, management, analysis, and visualization functions. We designed building monitoring experiments and proved through the experiments that the database management system can stably store, analyze, and manage the monitoring data and visualize the display, with the advantages of a fast response speed and low error rate. The spatial database system improves the storage and management efficiency of building comfort and structural safety monitoring data, eliminates redundant data, and realizes comprehensive analysis and management of building comfort and structural safety monitoring data. It provides data support for building comfort and structural safety assessment, helps users analyze the formation mechanism and evolution law of the urban heat island effect, assesses the interrelationship between climate change and urban building morphology, and constructs an urban thermal environment that is more adaptable to climate change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Buildings and Urban Thermal Environments)
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15 pages, 6598 KiB  
Article
Spatial Green Space Accessibility in Hongkou District of Shanghai Based on Gaussian Two-Step Floating Catchment Area Method
by Yao Sun, Dongwei Tian, Man Zhang and Yue Hou
Buildings 2023, 13(10), 2477; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13102477 - 29 Sep 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 980
Abstract
Green space in urban areas is one of the most critical infrastructures for the well-being of residents, and its spatial accessibility configuration is a key indicator of urban planning layout and ecological civilization construction. Using the Gaussian two-step floating catchment area (G2SFCA) method, [...] Read more.
Green space in urban areas is one of the most critical infrastructures for the well-being of residents, and its spatial accessibility configuration is a key indicator of urban planning layout and ecological civilization construction. Using the Gaussian two-step floating catchment area (G2SFCA) method, K-means cluster analysis, and Kriging spatial interpolation, this study examines the spatial characteristics of green space accessibility in the Hongkou District, focusing on the relationship between “green space-community” supply. The findings indicate the following: (1) green space accessibility in Hongkou District decreases as the level of green spaces decreases. Higher levels of accessibility are associated with smaller variations in spatial distribution. (2) The green space accessibility in Hongkou District is affected by the surrounding large green space. Compared to other areas, the community green spaces near Lu Xun Park and Peace Park have higher accessibility. (3) The green space accessibility in Hongkou District is impacted by the mismatch between population density and green spaces. An overlay analysis of accessibility and population density reveals that high accessibility areas have average or low-average population density. Based on the results of the green space accessibility analysis, recommendations are proposed to optimize the green space layout in Hongkou District from the perspective of spatial justice. These suggestions are aimed at promoting the equalization of green space services in Hongkou District, improving the overall level of urban green space services, with a view to improving the quality of urban living environment and creating a green and livable urban area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Buildings and Urban Thermal Environments)
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17 pages, 8071 KiB  
Article
Research on Spatial and Temporal Patterns of Heat Island Variability and Influencing Factors in Urban Center Areas: A Case Study of Beijing’s Central Area
by Zheng Wen, Dongwei Tian and Yongqiang Zhu
Buildings 2023, 13(8), 1887; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13081887 - 25 Jul 2023
Viewed by 755
Abstract
Studying the urban heat island effect and actively exploring effective measures for its mitigation and alleviation can provide important parameters for urban ecological environment monitoring and propose rational strategies to address environmental degradation. This article, with the background of urban renewal projects in [...] Read more.
Studying the urban heat island effect and actively exploring effective measures for its mitigation and alleviation can provide important parameters for urban ecological environment monitoring and propose rational strategies to address environmental degradation. This article, with the background of urban renewal projects in Beijing, focuses on the central area of Beijing as the research object. Landsat ETM+/OLI_ TIRS data from 2000 to 2020 are used as the main remote sensing imagery source, combined with functional information data and spatial attribute data of open spaces in the central area. Based on the mono-window (MW) algorithm, this study first quantitatively retrieves and categorizes the summer land surface temperature in Beijing’s central area and analyzes its spatiotemporal characteristics using the direction distribution method, revealing regular patterns in the temporal and spatial dimensions. The results show a gradual decrease in the size of the persistent high-temperature concentration area over time. Subsequently, the seasonal autoregressive integrated moving average (SARIMA) model is employed to predict the changing trends of the urban heat island and the occurrence time of the strongest and weakest heat islands. Higher land surface temperature (LST) years are projected for 2025 and 2035, with the lowest year being 2030. Lastly, the correlation coefficient and Moran’s index are used to analyze the correlation between the urban heat island and its corresponding influencing factors in different years. The results indicate that population density, nighttime light, and gross domestic product (GDP) have significant positive effects on the heat island intensity from a temporal perspective. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) shows a significant negative relationship with the heat island intensity when analyzed over time. The research findings provide important reference for rational urban planning, layout, and construction, and hold significance for advancing urban renewal efforts. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Buildings and Urban Thermal Environments)
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22 pages, 19228 KiB  
Article
Effects of Sky View Factor on Thermal Environment in Different Local Climate Zoning Building Scenarios—A Case Study of Beijing, China
by Rongtao Wang, Rui Liu, Qiang Chen, Qianhao Cheng and Mingyi Du
Buildings 2023, 13(8), 1882; https://doi.org/10.3390/buildings13081882 - 25 Jul 2023
Viewed by 874
Abstract
As an essential structural indicator of buildings, sky view factor (SVF) is one of the most critical factors affecting the urban thermal environment. However, the relationship between SVF and the thermal environment at the neighborhood scale has not been adequately studied. Therefore, this [...] Read more.
As an essential structural indicator of buildings, sky view factor (SVF) is one of the most critical factors affecting the urban thermal environment. However, the relationship between SVF and the thermal environment at the neighborhood scale has not been adequately studied. Therefore, this paper investigates the relationship between SVF and air temperature in different building scenarios based on the Local Climate Zone (LCZ) classification framework. Firstly, the study is based on multi-source urban data and the Open Street Map (OSM) to map the local climate zones in Beijing. Then, a simulation model with different LCZs was constructed based on realistic scenarios using the microclimate simulation software ENVI-met, and the thermal environment was simulated in 24 h on a single day in summer. Finally, the SVF and air temperature relationship under different LCZ scenarios was calculated and analyzed. The results show that (1) the SVF values of LCZ 1, LCZ 2, and LCZ 5 show a more apparent positive correlation with air temperature than other categories, and the SVF values of LCZ 6–9 show a negative and then positive correlation with air temperature; (2) in the morning, the dense building areas show a weak correlation with air temperature, and the differences in air temperature corresponding to the SVF values in different zones are greater; (3) in the morning, the air temperature in the dense building areas showed a weak correlation, the difference between the SVF values and the air temperature in different intervals was different, and when the SVF was larger or smaller, the air temperature change was smaller and concentrated, and the correlation between the air temperature and the SVF in the open building areas was not obvious; (4) with 12:00 as the dividing line, the SVF and the air temperature in all categories showed a weak positive correlation after this time. This study can provide guidance on optimizing building layouts and mitigating the impacts of urban heat on human health. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Impact of Climate Change on Buildings and Urban Thermal Environments)
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