Low-tech solution for Smart Cities – Optimization tool CityCalc for solar urban design

Smutny, Roman and Österreicher, Doris and Sattler, Stefan and Treberspurg, Martin and Battisti, Kurt and Gratzl, Markus and Rainer, Ernst and Staller, Heimo (2016) Low-tech solution for Smart Cities – Optimization tool CityCalc for solar urban design. REAL CORP 2016 – SMART ME UP! How to become and how to stay a Smart City, and does this improve quality of life? Proceedings of 21st International Conference on Urban Planning, Regional Development and Information Society. pp. 431-436.

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Designed as an easily applicable planning and evaluation tool, CityCalc has been developed to assess the energy performance of urban planning projects at early design stages. The tool supports the development of low-tech solutions for smart cities by means of optimising the use of renewable energy on site – including passive and active solar gains. Currently energy planning and assessment tools for early design stages do not take into account the mutual interactions of buildings such as shading and shadowing from adjoining structures as their focus is on the individual buildings. A great variety of tools for urban solar design exist nowadays, however they are not suitable for architects and early design stages (IEA SHC Task 41). In the future it will be of increasing importance to quantify the passive and active solar gains in order to fulfil ambitious legal and funding requirement and to implement future-oriented building concepts (e.g. passive house, zero energy, zero carbon or plus energy standards). The objective was therefore to develop an easily applicable energy planning and assessment tool for urban planning projects for the early design stages. The CityCalc tool focuses on energy efficiency - that is, the reduction of energy demand - with the best possible use of site-specific energy sources (gains from solar thermal and photovoltaic plants, wind energy, combined heat and power). In order to ensure a simple, user-friendly usability for architects, a three-dimensional geometry and data acquisition and an interface with energy calculation software is developed. CityCalc is developed for urban development planning, urban design competitions and urban densification. CityCalc can be used on the one hand by architects for optimizing the conceptual design phase and on the other hand, for the energy assessment of urban planning and architectural competitions. CityCalc combines the simplistic three-dimensional geometry input method of the freely available software SketchUp with proven evaluation algorithms of the energy performance certificate. In addition it refers to a variety of default values for details, which are not defined in detail at this stage of planning. With the assessment tool CityCalc it is possible to assess the potential of active and passive use of solar energy at a very early planning stage. For this purpose, the simplified three-dimensional input of the building and its surroundings in the free software SketchUp is required. CityCalc is available as a plugin for SketchUp. The developed planning and assessment tool has been tested and validated in selected planning competitions and early design projects. The tool and the experiences of the validation will be presented in this paper. Conclusions are a well-adjusted applicability for an early design stage. System boundaries of the assessment have to be shaped based on the available information as well as the flexible parameters of early design stages. Further aspects of smart cities have been identified to be included in future upgrades of the tool, such as: daylight comfort of indoor and outdoor areas, costs for supply and disposal especially energy supply, embodied energy in materials. The project has been funded by the Austrian Ministry for Transport, Innovation and Technology (bmvit) within the research program ‘City of Tomorrow’ (Stadt der Zukunft).

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: low-tech, solar architecture, energy efficiency, early design, planning tool
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
T Technology > TH Building construction
Depositing User: REAL CORP Administrator
Date Deposited: 19 Jul 2016 09:15
Last Modified: 19 Jul 2016 09:15
URI: http://repository.corp.at/id/eprint/100

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