The impact of urban form on building energy and cost efficiency in temperate-humid zones

Mangan S. D. , Koçlar Oral G., Erdemir Kocagil I., Sozen I.

JOURNAL OF BUILDING ENGINEERING, vol.33, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 33
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.jobe.2020.101626
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded
  • Keywords: Urban form, Residential building performance, Energy efficiency, Cost efficiency, Sustainable built environment


As residential buildings and urban areas account for a significant proportion of overall energy consumption, priority should be assigned to this dimension of housing and urban design solutions. This study developed an analytical framework to support coherent decision making in the early design stage regarding the impacts of different urban configurations odn building energy- and cost-efficiency. In line with this goal, a performance-oriented parametric simulation method was used to assess urban forms in relation to the principles of early design stage exploration and iteration. Using 120 urban forms developed for Istanbul as a temperate-humid climate, the study analysed the effect levels of urban (i.e., building height to street width [H/W ratio] and orientation) and building (i.e., typology, plan type and no. of floors) design parameters. The effect of each alternative on building performance was determined by calculating annual total energy consumption (heating, cooling and lighting), energy-related CO2 emissions, and life cycle costs. The results indicated that building height and H/W ratio played a more significant role than orientation in the energy and economic performance of the residential building used here in three urban forms (rectangular pavilion, rectangular slab and square pavilion). Additionally, to enhance guidance for the control of building performance in terms of energy and cost efficiency, the study results were presented comparatively to facilitate constructive and quantitative feedback. This approach bridges an existing gap by synthesising best practices for decision makers based on multiple performance objectives and solution spaces, contributing to more comprehensive understanding and awareness and, consequently, to more sustainable urban development planning.