Urban Systems

district radiation Group leader: Dasaraden Mauree
Postdoc: Silvia Coccolo, PhD student: Amarasinghage Tharindu Dasun Perera
External PhD advisor (ATD Perera): Vahid Nik (Chalmers Univ.)

Factsheet 2017/2018

The principal mission of the group is to better understand how to improve the environmental sustainability of urban systems through the simulation of physical processes. Urban systems, generally large groups of buildings, are simulated together to account for the numerous interactions happening between the elementary building objects. These interactions can be radiative (with the exchange of shortwave and longwave contributions), conductive and convective (through the exchange of heat) but also through an exchange of matter (gas, hot or cold liquid) or electricity. Due to the extensive nature of the simulation objects, simplified modelling is used wherever possible to maintain a balance between accuracy and computing time. A reasonable simulation time gives rise to enhance the urban performance by the use of optimization algorithms (such as Evolutionary Algorithms).

Specific research interests include

  • Simulation of energy and matter in urban systems
  • Urban heat island effect, including urban (micro) climatology
  • Outdoor environmental comfort
  • Sustainable urban design
  • Urban energy systems
  • Renewable decentralised energy systems

Developed tools

  • CIM – Canopy Interface Model
  • CitySim – decision support tool for urban energy planners and stakeholders to minimize the use of non-renewable energy sources as well as the associated emissions of greenhouse gases. This tool is now distributed and supported by Kaemco.

Current research projects

  • Urban Decentralized Energy Systems – Modelling and Simulation (SCCER FEEB&D)

Past research projects

  • Integration of decentralized energy adaptive systems for cites (IDEAS4cities)
  • Innovative planning and management instruments of urban energy systems (QUAD – sustainable districts)
  • Sustainable cities and urban energy systems of the future: Urban multiscale energy modelling (UMEM)
  • Sustainable districts –  decision aid tool
  • Investigation of strategies leading to a 2000W city using bottom-up models of urban energy flows (2 kW)
  • Ecosystemic modelling of urban metabolism based on modern thermodynamics
  • Multiscale modelling of building-urban interactions: understanding, modelling and mitigating the heat island effect

PhD theses in this domain

7756 2017 Silvia Coccolo Bioclimatic Design of Sustainable Campuses using Advanced Optimisation Methods
6102 2014 Diane Perez A framework to model and simulate the disaggregated energy flows supplying buildings in urban areas
5673 2013 Urs Wilke Probabilistic Bottom-Up Modelling of Occupancy and Activities to Predict Electricity Demand in Residential Buildings >> Detailed thesis results (for access password please contact leso@epfl.ch)
4587 2010 Frédéric Haldi On the unification of behavioural modelling, human comfort and energy simulation in buildings
4657 2010 Marylène Montavon Optimisation of Urban Form by the Evaluation of the Solar Potential
4548 2009 Jérôme Kämpf On the modelling and optimisation of urban energy fluxes
4531 2009 Adil Rasheed Multiscale modelling of urban climate


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