Assessing the cooling benefits of tree shade by an outdoor urban physical scale model at Tempe, AZ

Zhao, Q. , Yang, J., Wang, Z.-H. and Wentz, E. A. (2018) Assessing the cooling benefits of tree shade by an outdoor urban physical scale model at Tempe, AZ. Urban Science, 2(1), 4. (doi: 10.3390/urbansci2010004)

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Urban green infrastructure, especially shade trees, offers benefits to the urban residential environment by mitigating direct incoming solar radiation on building facades, particularly in hot settings. Understanding the impact of different tree locations and arrangements around residential properties has the potential to maximize cooling and can ultimately guide urban planners, designers, and homeowners on how to create the most sustainable urban environment. This research measures the cooling effect of tree shade on building facades through an outdoor urban physical scale model. The physical scale model is a simulated neighborhood consisting of an array of concrete cubes to represent houses with identical artificial trees. We tested and compared 10 different tree densities, locations, and arrangement scenarios in the physical scale model. The experimental results show that a single tree located at the southeast of the building can provide up to 2.3 °C hourly cooling benefits to east facade of the building. A two-tree cluster arrangement provides more cooling benefits (up to 6.6 °C hourly cooling benefits to the central facade) when trees are located near the south and southeast sides of the building. The research results confirm the cooling benefits of tree shade and the importance of wisely designing tree locations and arrangements in the built environment.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant number DEB-1637590, Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research (CAP LTER). Qunshan Zhao is partly supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 51378399 and 41331175), the Matthew G. Bailey Scholarship Award from School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, the Graduate and Professional Student Association’s JumpStart Research Grant Program, and the Dissertation Research Grant from American Association of Geographers. Jiachuan Yang and Zhi-Hua Wang are supported by U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF) under grant CBET-1435881.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Zhao, Dr Qunshan
Authors: Zhao, Q., Yang, J., Wang, Z.-H., and Wentz, E. A.
College/School:College of Social Sciences > School of Social and Political Sciences > Urban Studies
Journal Name:Urban Science
ISSN (Online):2413-8851
Published Online:08 January 2018
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2018 The Authors
First Published:First published in Urban Science 2(1): 4
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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