Climate Refuge: Thermal Comfort in Urban Micro Climates
More InformationShow full item record
This study addresses two major issues by responding to the significant decline in retail buildings including enclosed shopping malls and improving density, livability and human comfort in communities welcoming climate refugees. Future designs will become more responsive when involving suburban and urban infill landscape to enhance user experiences through thermal comfort. Studies show that Earth’s temperatures are on the rise causing large populations to be displaced by rising sea levels and contributing to extreme weather patterns in the colder hemispheres. Specifically, in the Midwest United States, this means colder temperatures, more snow, and longer months of winter (Cohen 2018). Analyzing microclimates to improve thermal comfort will give designers a better understanding of the link between human thermal comfort and their surrounding infill landscape. Because shopping malls have generalizable locations and footprints and a nearly identical hierarchy of ingress and egress locations, they are ideal for this type of microclimate analysis using climate data. These generalized footprints are becoming dead space in smaller cities leaving large unused parking lots which have the potential to positively serve these communities through various climate events, specifically polar vortexes. This study aims to mitigate extreme cold weather events through microclimate design by examining various site configurations with the use of data collection such as wind speed, temperature, and humidity. A Thermal Sensation Vote (TSV) was calculated to determine which configurations are best for thermal comfort (Wong 2015).