4.432 / 4.433
Modeling Urban Energy Flows for Sustainable Cities and Neighborhoods

Prerequisites: 
Permission of instructor

UG: Register for 4.432
G: Register for 4.433

The number of city-dwellers worldwide is expected to continue growing at a net rate of about two million per week. In parallel, greenhouse gas emissions are at an all-time high. In response to those global challenges, city governments world-wide have developed ambitious long-term GHG emission reduction targets. However, in order to attract and retain a globally competitive workforce, cities also need to offer their residents healthy and attractive indoor and outdoor spaces. How can architects, urban designers and planners account for these diverse issues in their projects?

To address this question, the primary focus of this hands-on class is the study and simulation of energy and material flows in and around groups of buildings and their impact on key environmental urban performance indicators such as operational and embodied building energy use and carbon emissions, access to daylight as well as neighborhood walkability and outdoor thermal comfort conditions. Additional metrics that we will be reviewing are a basic annual cash flow model to compare the economic viability of competing neighborhood proposals as well as the simulation of crop yields form hydroponic greenhouses distributed throughout a neighborhood. To learn more, go to the course syllabus and/or look at previous course projects.