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Novel Process to Study How Trees Affect Building Temperatures, Air Flow in Extreme Heat


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Urvban green space.

Iowa State University researchers developed a computational model to assess how tree shading and air flow affects building temperature in extreme heat.

Credit: Purdue University

Iowa State University (ISU) researchers created a computational model to assess how tree shading and air flow affects building temperature in extreme heat.

The researchers inventoried a neighborhood of 1,142 trees and 340 buildings, which they rendered as a three-dimensional model to simulate trees' impact on indoor energy use, accounting for energy input of nearby buildings and effects of the surrounding environment.

Initial results showed changes in landscaping can improve temperature control in buildings during times of extreme heat, since trees provide shading, radiation blockage, and evapotranspirational cooling.

Said ISU's Ulrike Passe, "We are developing data-driven models and physics-based computational fluid dynamics models to see if a building can be operated with natural air flows, or if it needs air conditioning."

From Iowa State University News Service
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