Re-Addressing The Window: Environmental performance of adaptive fenestration for Indian climate

Sharmeen Khan-Pathan | MPhil

The primary function of building fenestrations known to mankind is to provide daylight, fresh air and a view. However, with the emergence of mechanical systems, the purposes of space heating and cooling, ventilation and lighting are widely fulfilled artificially. The comprehensive focus of this research is to investigate the role and evolution of windows to date, the factors that have influenced them, their effect on human psychology, and their contribution to creating better living spaces. The Indian government’s scheme of constructing 20 million homes by 2022 and about 15% rise in the use of air conditioning units per year in Indian cities can be directly associated with the persistent shortage in electricity supply which has led to power cuts of around 16 hours a day in mostly rural areas of the country, and particularly during the summer months.

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The Applicability of Hydroponic Rooftop Farming in Existing Buildings in the Tropical Region

Carine Berger Woiezechoski | PhD

By 2020 it is estimated that 43% of the world’s population will be living in the Tropical region (United Nations, 2019), increasing the importance of providing not only liveable spaces but food security and resilient food systems. Particularly with growing urban environmental concerns, the potential of vacant rooftop spaces to be transformed into productive areas for food production has emerged as a viable option to contribute to the actual food chain. Hydroponic rooftop farming (HRF) is a lightweight water system with high yield production that demands less water and no pesticides (Lagomarsino, 2019). The system can be integrated into existing buildings’ rooftops, which can reduce food miles, enhance buildings thermal comfort and mitigate the Urban Heat Island (UHI) effect.

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Green Infrastructure in Urban Environments: The environmental performance of schools’ open spaces in São Paulo as a case study for tropical megacities

Joao Matos Da Silva | PhD

The insertion or withdrawal of nature into the urban design of dense urban settlements can culminate in multidisciplinary repercussions. The impacts are usually complex and multiple and require analysis through consideration of more than one criterion. Accordingly, this doctoral research will be a multicriteria evaluation, so it can be feasible and still provide a meaningful contribution to knowledge.

The focus will be on the impacts of green infrastructures in urban environments, using public schools in the city of São Paulo, Brazil as case studies. To achieve a proper understanding of the mentioned impacts, three main subjects will be studied: comfort, wellbeing and health. Even though there are diverse parameters related to each topic just mentioned, this research will focus on specific performance indicators, aiming to quantify and evaluate green infrastructure effect. The investigation on comfort will be developed using the performance indicator of thermal perception through microclimatic conditions. 

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Designing Healthy Cities: The impacts of urban form on concentration of air pollution at pedestrian level

Mehrdad Borna | PhD

In 2010 the World Health Organization stated that urban air pollution as a critical public health problem. The same report accentuated that nearly 4.2 million deaths per year worldwide were caused by the effects of urban outdoor air pollutant. For instance, in a developed city like London, there were more than 9,000 early deaths in 2015 caused by the pollutants such as Nitrogen Dioxide (NO2), Particulate Matter (PM10, PM2.5) and Ozone (O3).

Considering the above, this study postulates that there is an association between urban form and urban air quality. Therefore, the core focus of this research is to highlight potential improvements that can be achieved through the manipulation of urban form which is thought to stimulate a more positive impact on the formation of urban microclimate which can increase the dilution and dispersion of urban air pollutants and respectively reduce its adverse impact on human health.

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