Peng, Chengzhi and Elwan, Amr F.A. "Bridging Outdoor and Indoor Environmental Simulation for Assessing and Aiding Sustainable Urban Neighbourhood Design," in ArchNet-IJAR: International Journal of Architectural Research, vol. 6, issue 3 (2012): 72-90.
Urban dwellers in cities located in hot-arid or hot-humid regions have greater needs to live in between outdoor and indoor environments. The sustainability of urban building design in these regions cannot be fully assessed by indoor environmental simulation not taking into account the microclimatic factors of the surrounding urban neighbourhood. We find that the current suites of outdoor and indoor simulation software do not connect with each other to give us a holistic understanding of both outdoor and indoor simulation results. This paper reports on our current development of a methodological framework for bridging the current gap between outdoor and indoor environmental simulation. Our objective is that assessment of sustainability at an urban neighbourhood level can be carried out more holistically, and hence achieving more valid environmental simulations from an urban dwelling point of view. The outdoor-indoor coupling methodology is currently modelled on a digital work flow among three key software platforms: (1) ENVImet for urban neighbourhood outdoor simulation, (2) Ecotect for building indoor simulation, (3) uCampus for combined outdoor-indoor 3D visualisation modelling of an entire urban neighbourhood including its individual buildings. A case study of a new neighbourhood development proposed for New Cairo is presented to demonstrate how indoor environmental simulation can be grounded on outdoor environmental simulation of the urban neighbourhood. Graphical outputs from this outdoor-indoor coupling approach to neighbourhood simulation can be further brought together onto a Web-based 3D virtual reality modelling platform to enable wider accessibility.