Analytical Modeling of Indoor Cooling Load and Outdoor Thermal Comfort with Microclimatic Effects

  • Sarah Ghazal

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The spatial layout and building density of an urban system have important effects on ndoor cooling load and outdoor thermal comfort especially in regions with extreme hot weather. These effects, however, are difficult to analyze in the presence of urban heat island effect and human adaptation to thermal stress. This thesis develops an integrated analytical model to analyze the effects of urban orientation, building height, distance and thermal absorptivity properties on indoor cooling load and outdoor thermal comfort. The analytical model comprises a heat island effect sub-model, a building energy consumption sub-model, and a pedestrian thermal stress sub-model. While the heat island effect sub-model calculates thermal inertia of urban landscape, the building energy consumption sub-model computes energy consumption to offset static heat gain from the fa├žade of buildings. The pedestrian thermal stress sub-model identifies the thermal penalty that would occur to pedestrians who determine their optimal travel routes by trading off distance and thermal stress, with the latter affected by the shading factor which is determined by urban layout and building density. The heat island effect sub-model is validated with climate data from downtown Abu Dhabi with a 0.98 correlation coefficient. The model is applied to analyze the indoor cooling load and outdoor thermal comfort in the Abu Dhabi city and the Masdar city. Sensitivity analysis has also been performed for Abu Dhabi and Masdar with different urban design principles and building standards to improve energy efficiency and outdoor thermal comfort.
Date of AwardMay 2015
Original languageAmerican English
SupervisorI-tsung Tsai (Supervisor)


  • Indoor Cooling
  • Thermal Conditions
  • Microclimates
  • Urban Density
  • Thermal Stress
  • building Energy Consumption
  • Heat Islands
  • Building Standards
  • Energy Efficiency.

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