OUTDOOR THERMAL COMFORT
Cooling Singapore explores the impact of Singapore’s different microclimates, and land uses on the Outdoor Thermal Comfort (OTC) of urban spaces. Each microclimate is composed of a set of atmospheric conditions (e.g., wind, humidity, temperature, radiation) with spatial and temporal variations. It can help us to understand the complex relationship between humans, climate, and urban spaces.
To assess the OTC, Cooling Singapore combines quantitative and qualitative approaches, such as computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling, on-site measurement with sensors, and survey campaigns. The impact of various heat mitigating strategies at district scale is being evaluated through annual reference weather types. Furthermore, an exposure process is being used to define the ‘importance’ or type of use of each location in space over time by users. The purpose is to better understand the short- and long-term impacts of the different strategies, but also to help make better decisions where to invest in implementing specific strategies. The project assesses strategies related to vegetation, urban form, surface materials, energy, and transport, in residential and mixed-use areas in Singapore.
OTC is an important planning factor that needs to be considered in the early stages of design. Especially because it impacts people’s decisions on what outdoor spaces to use and what activities to perform. Singapore’s tropical climate requires specific attention to increase wind speed and reduce the incoming solar radiation (e.g., through void decks or elevated podiums). Climate-responsive guidelines are currently being developed.