Building energy simulation is of considerable interest and benefit for architects, engineers, and urban planners. Only recently has it become possible to develop integrated energy models for clusters of buildings in urban areas. Simulating energy consumption of the built environment on a relatively large scale (e.g., such as a neighborhood) will be necessary to obtain more reliable results, since building energy parameters are influenced by characteristics of the nearby environment. Therefore, the construction of a 3-D model of urban built areas with detail of the near-building environment should enhance simulation approaches and provide more accurate results. This paper describes the process of integrating urban forest inventory data into a 3-D energy model for a US Midwest neighborhood, including building footprint, parcel and tree data. This model was prepared for use in the Urban Modeling Interface (umi) tool to analyze the effect of tree shading on building energy performance. We used Grasshopper 3-D, the Meerkat plug-in, and GIS to integrate these datasets for model generation.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/janette_thompson/29/