Dubai is located on the southern end of the Gulf. Its climactic cycle
can be divided into three periods, (December to March) which has mild weather
and temperatures of 20-23 C, (November to April) which has warm weather and
temperatures of 25-26 C and (May to October) which has hot weather and
temperatures of 29 to 34 C. The first two periods are relatively comfortable if
it is well-shaded and there are continuous breezes from the Gulf. The hot
period is more burdensome because of the high incidence of solar radiation,
humidity, and limited evaporative cooling. Yet, there is relief from nocturnal
radiative cooling which happens year-round and winds traveling at velocities
4.0m/s (Thapar & Yannas, 2007).
Microclimate Effects of Buildings:
There are three types of structures being built in Dubai: high
skyscrapers, mid-rise blocks, and low-rise compact courtyard structures. Each
has different shading effects on the ground. Below is a diagram illustrating
exactly those effects of the different types of structures with the same
volumes. Courtyard structures and more dense developments provide better
shading for streets and people. However, future plans are gearing toward the development of high-rise buildings because of advantages such as privacy, exclusivity and views.
Top Left Corner: High-rise building
Top Right Corner: Mid-rise building
Low-rise, Courtyard Building
There was a study done on the effects of different built forms on ambient
temperature and airflow. The results revealed that during the daytime, the
low-rise courtyard form left a larger microclimatic footprint because more of
its mass was constructed closer to the ground. In terms of temperature, the
courtyard was coolest out of all the structures and the open courtyard being
the absolute coolest. However, because of the obstruction of airflow in
courtyard forms, courtyards had the lowest wind speeds, and as a result, were
warmer in the areas where there was less wind movement (east-west as opposed to
north-south) (Thapar & Yannas, 2007).
Envi-met predictions of air temperatures for 2:00pm on a July day around a constant built volume on a 100x100m site. First picture on the left represents a high-rise building, second, mid-rise, and last, courtyard blocks.
The conclusions to this study include that built forms of any kind
should strive to incorporate well-shaded and ventilated spaces. Water can help
provide cooling, although humidity is still a challenge. Vegetation can also
help with cooling and increase the market value of property, but humidity and
the high-cost of maintenance may pose challenges. Shading, permeability to
airflow for convective cooling and the employment of right construction
materials are indispensable for sustainable urban designing. (Thapar & Yannas, 2007)
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MICROCLIMATE EFFECTS OF BUILDING IN DUBAI PICS (3)
Thapar H, Yannas S. 2008. 491: Microclimate and Urban Form in Dubai. Architectural Association School of Architecture. PLEA 2008 -- 25th Conference on Passive and Low Energy Architecture; 2008 Oct 22-24; Dublin.