Outdoor Comfort Assessment is the analysis of annual or specific time of day models that simulate the outdoor microclimate of a specific urban grid. Designing for outdoor comfort is a valuable tool that enlarges living areas and increases users well being. The wide scope of retrofitting could be applicable to sizeable landscape and urban projects but also to small outdoor spaces as balconies and terraces.
The overall outdoor comfort evaluation encompasses the hourly effects of solar radiation, wind speed, relative humidity and physiological aspects such as clothing insulation and metabolic rate. The simulations are performed through Ladybug (Grasshopper) using the weather data of the location and a model of the studied site. The results are further reported based on the Universal Thermal Comfort Index (UTCI); which is an indicator based on human heat balance models designed to be applicable in diverse seasons and climates.
Outdoor comfort analysis highlights environmental passive design potentials to benefit pedestrians and retrofit design interventions as the selective placement of vegetation, covered pathways, wind barriers and placement of sitting areas. This iterative process could enrich the design of a variety of projects as a park and public square design, shopping centres, and pedestrian roads among other design proposals.