Providing Comfortable Environment in Skygardens Within High-Rise Buildings: Analysis of the Impact of Vegetation on Wind and Thermal Comfort

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 9, Issue 2, 1080353
Paige W. Tien , Murtaza Mohammadi, John K. Calautit
Department of Architecture and Built Environment, University of Nottingham, University Park, Nottingham NG7 2RD, United Kingdom


Skygardens are increasingly being seen as design interventions for improving the social, economic and environmental values of a building. Additionally, the integration of vegetation within the building space can have health benefits for occupants, occupants’ satisfaction while improving the air quality. However, the aerodynamic response of skygarden vegetation must be understood in detail to assist designers in the selection and arrangement of species for creating a conducive environment for occupants. The current study analyses nine different vegetation configurations within a high-rise skygarden to determine the aero-thermal performance. Computational fluid dynamics simulations were carried out using the standard k-Ɛ method, where the vegetation was modelled as a porous zone with cooling capacity. The results indicate that vegetation can attenuate high wind speeds within comfort levels at occupants’ height, as well as reduce temperatures by over 1 °C in the wake of the vegetation. Whereas the performance improves with higher number of trees, but when considering limited vegetation space, the relative performance of a single-row configuration is better than a double row of trees along the skygarden edge.

Keywords: Skygardens, Skycourts, High-rise buildings, Vegetation, Computational fluid dynamics, Thermal comfort.

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