Tree shade coverage optimization in an urban residential environment

Qunshan Zhao, Elizabeth Wentz, Alan T. Murray

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Shade provided by trees, shrubs and other vegetation serves as a natural umbrella to mitigate insolation absorbed by features of the urban environment, especially building structures. For a desert community, tree shade is a valuable asset, contributing to energy conservation efforts, improving home values, enabling cost savings, and promoting enhanced health and well-being. Therefore, maximizing tree shade coverage is an important component in creating an eco-friendly and sustainable urban environment. Strategic placement of trees enhances tree shade coverage of buildings. This paper details an optimization method to simultaneously maximize tree shade coverage on building facades and open structures and to minimize shade coverage on building rooftops in a 3-dimensional environment. This method integrates geographic information systems and spatial optimization approaches for placing trees that provide the greatest potential benefit to a building. A residential area in Tempe, Arizona is utilized to demonstrate the capabilities of the method. The optimization results show that two trees can provide up to 22.20 m2 shade coverage at 12:00 across a 54 m2 south-facing facade. This research offers a method to help homeowners, urban planners, and policy makers to quantitatively evaluate shade coverage from trees for building structures in a residential environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-280
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Volume115
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017

Fingerprint

residential environment
Facades
coverage
building
Incident solar radiation
Geographic information systems
Energy conservation
Health
urban planner
homeowner
residential area
desert
savings
Costs
information system
assets
conservation
well-being
energy conservation
insolation

Keywords

  • GIS
  • Location modeling
  • Solar insolation
  • Spatial optimization
  • Tree shade coverage

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction

Cite this

Tree shade coverage optimization in an urban residential environment. / Zhao, Qunshan; Wentz, Elizabeth; Murray, Alan T.

In: Building and Environment, Vol. 115, 01.04.2017, p. 269-280.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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