Analyzing the impact of design configurations of urban features on reducing solar radiation

Ruwaa Bahgat, Rabee Reffat, Shawkat L. Elkady

Research output: Journal PublicationArticlepeer-review

20 Citations (Scopus)


Energy expenditure represents a major component of the operational cost in tourist resorts in Egypt mainly due to the cooling energy used in buildings. The amount of solar radiation received from the Sun (direct, diffused, and reflected radiation) per unit area on the building facades surrounding the urban open-spaces in these touristic resorts contributes to the solar heat gain that is directly reflected in the cooling energy required in these buildings. Therefore, reducing the solar radiation is extremely important to reduce cooling energy. The highest reduction of solar radiation can be obtained by determining the most appropriate design configurations of urban open-pace.

This paper aims to: (a) investigate the impact of different design configurations of urban open-spaces on reducing total solar radiation on surrounding building facades, and (b) to compare the effect of design configurations on each other. To achieve this goal, the dominant types of urban open-spaces are identified and simulation scenarios are developed. Computational simulation is conducted to calculate the total solar radiation gained by facades of surrounding buildings. Then, a comparative analysis is conducted to identify the effect of urban design configurations individually, and collectively on each other. Accordingly, the most effective building design configurations of urban features of open-spaces on reducing solar radiation are determined. The results obtained in this paper showed that changing the values of height to width Z:X (aspect ratio) in linear types of urban open-spaces and changing the values of width to length X: Y (space proportion) in clustered types of urban open-spaces have the greatest impact of reducing total solar radiation gained by surrounding buildings facades. The outcome of this paper provides designers with specific guidelines that can be used in the early phases of urban design to achieve energy-efficient urban open-spaces of touristic resorts in the hot arid climate.
Original languageEnglish
Article number101664
Pages (from-to)1-19
JournalJournal of Building Engineering
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2020


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