Foundations of Mediterranean urban morphology

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Foundations for the characterization of Mediterranean urban morphology. Identification of urban parameters and their impact on the energy efficiency of architecture.


BIA 2013-45597

MINISTRY OF ECONOMY AND COMPETITIVENESS. State Program for Research, Development and Innovation Oriented to Society Challenges
UNESCO Classification:

Project TIpus: Type B
Duration (in years): 3
Principal investigator: Helena Coch Roura
Principal Investigator 2: Isabel Crespo Cabillo

Roset, J.; Crespo, I.; Pardal, C.; Cecere, C.; Pages-Ramon, A.; Beckers, B.; Rogora, A.; Coch, H.


Borderline Metropolis. by Labics

Borderline Metropolis. by Labics

Borderline Metropolis. by Labics


The city is a complex system in which many parameters converge. The large number of these parameters greatly hinders not only an accurate analysis of all of them, but also the assessment of the phenomena that occur in the city and its impact on the environment. Urban planning is one of the challenges facing society today. It involves both architects and planners and also other social and professional groups. All of them converge in this common area of energy and environmental exchange

The world’s population is moving to urban areas in an increasing proportion. Consequently, these areas become potential points of conflict, so they must be planned carefully. To optimize urban planning, it is essential to have a body of doctrine in environmental and social issues taking into account aspects such as energy consumption, resources, comfort and well-being.

This project aims to improve the energy efficiency in buildings in Mediterranean cities by identifying those parameters of the shape of the buildings which allow us to describe the different urban fabrics and their influence on the buildings envelope performance regarding energy demand. This will change our energy system reducing our dependence of solid fuels and optimizing the use of solar energy as a clean, safe and efficient energy.

Nowadays, a reasonable way to simulate the environmental performance of urban structures does not exist. This project aims to identify and define the urban parameters required for a geometric description of the different urban fabrics, in order to facilitate an approach to its environmental performance.

A first parameter to deal with focuses on describing the relationship among buildings skin (interior-exterior interchange), interior volume (inside living space) and outer volume (outside urban area). The idea of urban/built density is conceptualized in a single parameter. Otherwise, this dichotomy makes it difficult to be applied in many works already done, as they become a difficult case to generalize.

The parameters will be validated using GIS (Geographic Information System) in some of the cities with an available appropriate cartography data. Results will be compared with the simulated heat island effect. Consequently, general laws about buildings skin performance will be deduced in order to improve its efficiency. The improvement in the overall performance involving certain materials applied to the rehabilitation of buildings skins in warm climates will be checked in the laboratory and in possible real cases. The final result of the project is a tool based on Geographic Information Systems, which will provide us with objective data on which to base for design and urban planning criteria.

In addition, this research will allow us to identify the most appropriate and effective strategies for acting in the building stock, in order to improve the envelope of the existing buildings (for example using solar controllers, insulating material, transparent insulation, etc.). Moreover, this research will help to take the appropriate urban planning policies related to future design and growth of cities


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