Tree shade coverage optimization in an urban residential environment

Zhao, Q. , Wentz, E. A. and Murray, A. T. (2017) Tree shade coverage optimization in an urban residential environment. Building and Environment, 115, pp. 269-280. (doi:10.1016/j.buildenv.2017.01.036)

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Abstract

Shade provided by trees, shrubs and other vegetation serves as a natural umbrella to mitigate insolation absorbed by features of the urban environment, especially building structures. For a desert community, tree shade is a valuable asset, contributing to energy conservation efforts, improving home values, enabling cost savings, and promoting enhanced health and well-being. Therefore, maximizing tree shade coverage is an important component in creating an eco-friendly and sustainable urban environment. Strategic placement of trees enhances tree shade coverage of buildings. This paper details an optimization method to simultaneously maximize tree shade coverage on building facades and open structures and to minimize shade coverage on building rooftops in a 3-dimensional environment. This method integrates geographic information systems and spatial optimization approaches for placing trees that provide the greatest potential benefit to a building. A residential area in Tempe, Arizona is utilized to demonstrate the capabilities of the method. The optimization results show that two trees can provide up to 22.20 m2 shade coverage at 12:00 across a 54 m2 south-facing facade. This research offers a method to help homeowners, urban planners, and policy makers to quantitatively evaluate shade coverage from trees for building structures in a residential environment.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant SES-0951366, Decision Center for a Desert City II: Urban Climate Adaptation. Qunshan Zhao is partly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51378399 and 41331175).
Status:Published
Refereed:Yes
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Zhao, Dr Qunshan
Authors: Zhao, Q., Wentz, E. A., and Murray, A. T.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Building and Environment
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0360-1323
ISSN (Online):1873-684X
Published Online:02 February 2017

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