EUI of Building Clusters

Integrating Envelope Performance with Urban Design





Large master planned developments such as Battery Park City in Manhattan, Mission Bay in San Francisco, and Playa Vista in Los Angeles were built over several decades and were guided by urban design guidelines that focus on built form, architectural styles, and elements of the public realm. These guidelines were generally written by architect-planners and urban designers. Envelope performance is governed by building codes and client goals. The goals are often focused on getting certified by a reputed rating agency such as the US Green Building Council. While more holistic rating systems for large developments such as the Ecodistricts Protocol and Star Communities exist, the adherence to multiple regulatory or appraisal systems can get very complex. Thus, there is an increasing need for urban design guidelines to step up and include sophisticated building envelope performance criteria while controlling built form and the public realm.

A Master Plan for a 230-acre mixed-use urban redevelopment in New Delhi, India was prepared along with Urban Design Guidelines (UDG). In addition to conventional development guidelines, performance standards were included as part of the Urban Design Guidelines. One of the key criteria was energy performance. Computer analysis of buildings as clusters rather than discrete structures showed over 6% reduction in Energy Use Intensity (EUI). A 9.8% reduction in EUI was achieved when radiant heat gain was reduced using interventions at the cluster level such as a strategically place canopy over a space between buildings. Preliminary modeling showed a 21.9% reduction in EUI when 4-storied bridges were added between pairs of buildings. Results showed strong evidence that clustered approach to energy modelling can influence building planning and development strategy to achieve EUI goals.


Planning and Urban Design shape the fabric of cities by establishing block sizes, land use, densities and streets. Urban Design Guidelines are intended to shape the public realm by controlling

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A master plan and urban design guidelines were prepared for a 230-acre mixed-use urban redevelopment in New Delhi, India. The urban design guidelines relating to physical form and design were

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The computer modeling of buildings and clusters were performed using the following tools and criteria:

8 storied buildings with 33m x 68m floor plate, and 4m floor-to-floor height.Buildings were built

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Figure 4: Effect of orientation on EUI of building mass with unprotected openings.Figure 5: Effect of orientation on EUI of building mass with protected openings on west and south faces.Figure

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Data & Explanation

All EUIs are exaggerated since the buildings were modelled as single masses without floors. Relative performances of various conditions were used for analysis.

The building mass was analyzed in

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Conclusion and Future Work

The California Energy Code treats each building as though it exists in a climate zone with nothing around it. Since each building owner has little control on how the City

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The author wishes to acknowledge the following persons for contributing to the project in various capacities:

Yinan Wu, Kritzinger+Rao

David Wang, Kritzinger+Rao

Rights and Permissions

Burak Güneralpa, Yuyu Zhouc, Diana Ürge-Vorsatzd, Mukesh Guptad, Sha Yue, Pralit L. Patele, Michail Fragkiasf, Xiaoma Lic,g,h, and Karen C. Setog, “Global scenarios of urban density and its impacts on building energy use through 2050” September 2017).

Robert Sander, “Suburban sprawl cancels carbon-footprint savings of dense urban cores” September 2017).

Toparlar, Y & Blocken, B & Vos, P & van Heijst, GJF & Janssen, WD & Hooff, Twan & Montazeri, Hamid & Timmermans, HJP. “CFD simulation and validation of urban microclimate: A case study for Bergpolder Zuid, Rotterdam. Building and Environment.” 201.