• Microclimate Data Prolongs the Summer

    Designing with knowledge of the local microclimate can make an outdoor space feel warmer, less windy and healthier. At Etobicoke Civic Centre, we have extended the comfortable outdoor season by more than five weeks with microclimate data.

  • A nice outdoor climate is as important as good indoor climate. Even though the weather has its own mind, architects are actually able to influence outdoor conditions significantly by design.

    Designing with the local microclimatic conditions in mind, such as windflow, sun, and shadow, architects can minimize the uncomfortable and optimize the comfortable aspects of the local climate – and thus increase the amount of comfortable outdoor hours significantly.

    “We all know that one secret spot in the park, the courtyard or in the playground, where the sun always shines and there is shelter and a comfortable temperature. Through our analysis, the variance of the microclimate is actively implemented in the shaping of the building, improving the experienced weather altogether,” says Lead Engineer at Henning Larsen, Jakob Strømann-Andersen.

    Five extra weeks

    For one, the construction of the building has been made to block out cold windflows and push them upwards along the building. The wind is guided according to the orientation of the towers and the way they gradually rise upwards. This ensures shelter from the wind in the open square as well as on the various rooftop terraces. Furthermore, the building is orientated in order to ensure that both the square and all the terraces are exposed to sunshine all day, while the towers also give shade to each other in the best suitable way.

    “In Toronto, winters are viciously cold and the summers very warm. By analyzing weather data from all seasons, we have adapted the building to extend the comfortable outdoor season in the area by at least five weeks, for example by minimizing the chill factor during the spring and fall. The experienced temperature will simply increase,” says Jakob Strømann-Andersen.

    “By optimizing these conditions, we ensure a public space that is livelier, more dynamic, and that invites more interaction between people and the place. One example of this is the annual local farmer’s market. When it takes place in the Fall in front of the civic centre, visitors will experience the weather conditions as more comfortable,” he states.

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