Analyzing the impacts of building form on the environment: a case study in Ankara witha focus on solar reflection

Tümbaş, Havva Nur
In recent years, highly reflective materials have been widely used in building skins, not only for aesthetic reasons but also to reduce energy consumption and improve occupant satisfaction. Usage of highly reflective materials, combined with curvilinear building forms may cause undesired environmental impacts by creating uncontrolled solar reflections. This problem may lead to property and vegetation damage but more importantly, thermal and visual discomfort towards pedestrians, drivers and the occupants of nearby buildings. This study investigates the solar reflection topic with an extensive literature review consisting of the definition of solar reflection and its effects on the environment, current measuring tools, mitigation techniques applied on post-construction period, precautions that should be taken during early stages of the design process and several infamous cases around the world. Furthermore, it discusses the similar patterns among the case studies with the help of an analysis of a building from Ankara selected based on specific criteria. To analyze the solar reflection problem of Ankara case, sun path diagrams for the exact location of the building at different dates and hours were generated. Using these sun path diagrams, paths of solar reflection and the approximate locations of solar focal points occurred due to the building’s concave façade were determined around the vicinity of the building. This analysis is further supported by on-site observations and the results show similarity to the cases reviewed in the research, in regard to environmental impacts. In conclusion, the study suggests a simple method for predicting the possible areas in the environment that may be affected by solar reflection and presents a guideline for designers on avoiding or mitigating this problem.
Citation Formats
H. N. Tümbaş, “Analyzing the impacts of building form on the environment: a case study in Ankara witha focus on solar reflection,” Thesis (M.S.) -- Graduate School of Natural and Applied Sciences. Building Science in Architecture., Middle East Technical University, 2019.