Sustainable Cities Researchers Present at the AIA Iowa Convention

Trees in urban landscapes can modify temperatures in the nearby environment, which is important for reducing summer heat loads on building surfaces. Trees can reduce energy use and improve indoor and outdoor comfort for cooling in summer by casting shade and providing evapotranspirational (ET) cooling. This workshop presents a methodology to combine spatially explicit three-dimensional tree morphology and estimates of ET rates with building location and wall characteristic data to test their relative contribution to building energy consumption. Based on a comprehensive tree inventory and remotely sensed land surface temperature which indicate urban heat island effect for a Des Moines neighborhood, tree morphology and building data have been integrated in a three-dimensional array in the “Urban Modeling Interface” to estimate cooling due to interception of sunlight. We then created a mesh surface that includes trees and buildings to incorporate in a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model to simulate ET cooling. The workshop will present first results of the CFD modeling for latent heat transfer in the vicinity of urban trees.