Urban building energy models present a valuable tool for promoting energy efficiency in building design and control, as well as for managing urban energy systems. However, the current models often overlook the importance of site-specific characteristics, as well as the spatial attributes and variations within a specific area of a city. This methodological paper moves beyond state-of-the-art urban building energy modeling and urban-scale energy models by incorporating an improved place-based approach to address this research gap. This approach allows for a more in-depth understanding of the interactions behind spatial patterns and an increase in the number and quality of energy-related variables. The paper outlines a detailed description of the steps required to create urban energy models and presents sample application results for each model. The pre-modeling phase is highlighted as a critical step in which the geo-database used to create the models is collected, corrected, and integrated. We also discuss the use of spatial auto-correlation within the geo-database, which introduces new spatial-temporal relationships that describe the territorial clusters of complex urban environment systems. This study identifies and redefines three primary types of urban energy modeling, including process-driven, data-driven, and hybrid models, in the context of place-based approaches. The challenges associated with each type are highlighted, with emphasis on data requirements and availability concerns. The study concludes that a place-based approach is crucial to achieving energy self-sufficiency in districts or cities in urban-scale building energy-modeling studies.
Toward Improved Urban Building Energy Modeling Using a Place-Based Approach / Mutani, G.; Vocale, P.; Javanroodi, K.. - In: ENERGIES. - ISSN 1996-1073. - 16:9(2023). [10.3390/en16093944]