NUMERICAL SIMULATION OF WIND MICROCLIMATE AND AIR QUALITY IN URBAN ENVIRONMENTS WITH VEGETATION

UoM administered thesis: Phd

  • Authors:
  • Azin Hosseinzadeh

Abstract

A rapid increase in urbanisation and rising populations living in urban areas lead to major problems including increased rate of air pollution and global warming. Assessing the impact of buildings on wind flow, air temperature and pollution dispersion on people at the pedestrian level in the urban design is therefore of crucial importance. In this study, Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations are carried out for a case study, representing the East Village in the London Olympic park. Simulations are conducted by the commercial software, STARCCM+ under steady state conditions with the Reynolds Average Navier-Stokes (RANS) method. Following the determination of areas of high velocity, appropriate tree planting is proposed to overcome the effect of corner and downwash acceleration. Afterwards, improving the thermal environment and air quality is evaluated using different forms of urban vegetation including green roofs, green walls and trees. Thermal simulations using CFD are carried out for a selected area of the East Village. This study indicates that adding a building increases air temperature, pollution concentration, and velocity at the pedestrian level. A parametric analysis is conducted to assess the impact of various key parameters on air temperature, pollution, and velocity at the pedestrian level. These variables include wind speed which ranges from 4-8 m/s at a reference height of 10m, and vegetation cooling intensity which varies from 250-500 Wm-3. Three scenarios are tested in which the streets have no bottom heating, 2 °C bottom heating, and 10 °C bottom heating. Pollution is simulated as a form of passive scalar with an emission rate of 100 ppb S-1, considering NO2 as the pollutant. In all cases, vegetation is found to reduce air velocity and temperature, however, the presence of vegetation in various forms alter the pattern of pollution dispersion differently. More specifically, the results indicate that planting trees close to the edge of buildings can decrease the air temperature by up to 2-3 °C at the pedestrian level. Increasing the cooling intensity of the vegetation from 250 to 500 W m-3 results in significantly lower air temperature. In addition, lower wind speeds result in increased pollution concentrations at the pedestrian level. Furthermore, it was found that combining green walls and trees is the most effective strategy to improve thermal environment and air quality. The results of this thesis provide useful clues for the design of green solutions for improving air quality, outdoor pedestrian comfort, and thermal environment.

Details

Original languageEnglish
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Award date1 Aug 2022