The synergistic effects of thermal environment and visibility upon the popularity of street retail area: A case study of a retail arcade in Guangzhou

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Li, Yifan
Augenbroe, Godfried
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For every building design process, three elements should be taken into considerations: building type, geometry and environment. These elements mutually influence one another; the aim of architectural design is to find the most appropriate combination of them. The three elements could be analyzed and modeled by using tools and methods in the fields of architecture typology, space syntax, and building performance simulation. The use of such tools supports not only qualitative research and evaluation, but also quantitative comparison. This work focuses on the arcade, a type of street retail space in South China. The overhanging 2nd floor not only moderates the thermal and environmental quality of the passage beneath it, but also affects the visibility of store fronts. In this study the conditions created in arcaded environments are compared to those in a normal street retail environment. Several analysis tools are used: Isovist and daylighting analyses are combined in order to model the visibility of store fronts; environmental simulation is used to assess thermal performance (e.g. temperature, wind speed, and humidity). The results are used to characterize the attraction of stores which are similar regarding size, location and retail type but are interfaced to different types of outdoor space. By combining the results of the analysis with observations of the stores’ popularity the research concludes with recommendations about the design of store environments that are more likely to attract visitors. Tools: Depthmap, Grasshopper, Diva, Ladybug, Honeybee, IES-VE
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