Truly Cooling Water Bodies – lowering urban heat stress

Truly Cooling Water Bodies - lowering urban heat stress

2017, tutor: Sanda Lenzholzer, student: Zhonglin Gao

The urban heat island effect and global warming have made
it more and more urgent to mitigate urban heat-stress. Additionally, water retention for
potential flooding has forced Dutch water cities to give more space to water
and have more urban water bodies. In the past, designers thought water bodies
cool down the environment. However water’s inertia makes it heating up
the environment during the night in hot periods. It is necessary to design truly
cooling water bodies. The whole process of designing truly cooling water bodies follows an RTD
(research through designing) process. The typical water bodies are identified in
the intersections of residential and high heat-stress areas in Utrecht. They are
then analyzed with their shadow and wind behaviors in hot periods.
Based on the analyses results, the design criteria are set for the design loops.
The process of the design loops of this thesis is iterative, it goes from basic
single designs to integrated designs. By combining and synthesizing, adding
more evaluating criteria in the later design loops, refinement of the designs is
achieved. Finally, final design recommendations and design principles for representative
water body types in the research areas are concluded from the design loops. Find the full thesis text here.