The Impact of Bioclimatic Design on Ambient Air Temperature in Dubai Small Outdoor Urban Spaces

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The British University in Dubai (BUiD)
A bioclimatic design approach is based upon incorporating the microclimatic requirements into the design to achieve higher comfort levels and lower energy consumption. The purpose of this study was to investigate the cooling effect of selected bioclimatic parameters on the outdoor air temperature of an open space. Several variables that attested earlier to enhance the outdoor environments were examined mutually to attain the impact that passive design has on the outdoor air temperature. The computer simulation was found to be the most suitable tool for investigation according to the resources available. Three variables were tested initially, orientation, geometry and vegetation where the coolest parameter of each was incorporated into one scenario named the enhanced scenario. Three scenarios named the existing scenario representing a specific site conditions, the enhanced scenario combining the coolest parameters and a worst case scenario combining the warmest parameters, were compared together and evaluated. The SW-NE orientation, the highest geometry of a height to width (H:W) ratio of 4, groups of trees and continuous grass revealed to be the coolest parameters incorporated in the enhanced scenario. The enhanced scenario was compared to the worst case scenario based upon an EW orientation, 0.5 H:W ratio and no vegetation which recorded the highest temperature levels. The results revealed a slight improvement in the outdoor air temperature due to the bioclimatic principles applied. The comparative results show cased a slighter improvement between the enhanced scenario and the existing scenario representing the site conditions of Dubai Knowledge Village due to the incorporation of a few principles only. The results of temperature and wind patterns recorded had contributed to understanding several outdoor behaviors which are useful for guiding an ecological design for small outdoor urban spaces. One main conclusion was the existence of a threshold to the size of bioclimatic applications for them to achieve a significant improvement yet, an improvement was possible. However, the behavior of the outdoor parameters remains quite complex and unpredictable that requires further investigation.
bioclimatic design, urban spaces, air temperature, Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), energy consumption, passive design