Urban Systems 2019 Annual Report

Urban Systems Group 2019 Report

The Urban Systems Group brings science solutions to cities. By integrating buildings, transportation, urban climate, and socio-economics into our research, we develop technologies, data, methods, computational tools and best practices that optimize urban system performance. This first annual report summarizes the group's major research and activities at Berkeley Lab. 

This year our research ranged from developing community action plans that improve clean energy equity and air quality in disadvantaged communities in California, to creating a computational framework that supports cities’ energy and environmental goals in urban planning and operation of urban infrastructure. See Research Highlights below to read more about each specific research project. The Outreach section summarizes the dozen international and national conferences, workshops and seminars that we attended this year, the Invited talks section gives an overview of the work of four speakers we invited to present their significant urban research work covering urban building energy benchmarking, energy policy, urban planning, as well as urban sensing and informatics, and finally the Publications section lists publications from our team in 2019.

Research Highlights

Building Healthier and More Energy-Efficient Communities in Fresno and the Central Valley

Fresno is a disadvantaged community with high unemployment (almost twice the state average) and poor air quality. The high pollution load contributes to adverse health outcomes: Fresno’s children suffer from asthma at rates much higher than in California as a whole. In Fresno, the lifetime asthma prevalence is 21.3% for children and 18.6% for adults—5.9% and 5.4% higher, respectively, than the prevalence statewide. The disadvantaged communities in Fresno also suffer from lack of air conditioning or cannot afford to run air conditioning during the hot summer months, with negative impacts on residents’ health. At the same time, access to clean technology options (for example, solar PV, major energy efficiency upgrades to their homes, battery-electric vehicles) is constrained in disadvantaged communities by many structural barriers. This project will combine big data analysis, holistic modeling, and strong community participation to develop a community action plan to improve clean energy equity and air quality in Fresno and other disadvantaged communities in California.

CAL-THRIVES: A California Toolkit for Heat Resiliency in Vulnerable Environments

Extreme heat events are expected to become 5 to 10 times more frequent by the end of the 21st century. There is an urgent need to boost resilience to heat waves in California’s neighborhoods and cities, especially for the state’s most vulnerable populations, such as low-income people and elderly residents. LBNL researchers are developing a cooling resilience toolkit by combining community engagement in the city of Fresno and analysis with simulations of optimal adaptation strategies, in order to: (1) Identify those populations that are in most need, (2) Prioritize low-cost, zero-energy in-home measures to mitigate potentially deadly heat, (3) Facilitate use of energy-efficient, low greenhouse gas (low GHG) in-home air conditioning or ventilation where needed, and (4) Ensure that cooling centers can provide viable refuge from extreme heat. Major activities include: (1) Identify and engage with vulnerable DACs to assess existing homes and desired improvements, (2) Enhance the CityBES tool to assess viable passive cooling and low-GHG active cooling measures at the neighborhood-scale, (3) Add a visualization feature to CityBES to map heat vulnerability in Fresno, (4) Improve efficacy of cooling centers, and (5) Disseminate the Cooling Resiliency Toolkit.

A City Energy Operations System: Use cases, Metrics, and Benefits

City and local government leaders are interested in achieving sustainability goals, providing resilient energy infrastructure, and improving economic competitiveness. Communities around the world are investing in data collection and analysis, tools and technologies to ensure that the built infrastructure, that includes buildings, transportation, and energy generation and storage assets, is designed, and operates efficiently. However, there is a lack of common semantic data models, interoperable systems, and methods to collect data and support decision-making for urban-scale energy systems. We conducted extensive “customer discovery” interviews with stakeholder groups, and reviewed literature and private and public technology platforms to identify energy-oriented workflows in urban organizations around energy management and technology procurement. We explored the potential of, and developed the basic architecture for a community scale energy operations system ‘CityEOS’. The key users of the CityEOS are Build-Own-Operate-Manage (BOOM) developers of mixed-use districts, corporate and university campus’ energy managers, and city managers of small cities that own their energy utility. The value is for community planning (for energy-data integrated land use planning and community energy infrastructure investments in microgrids, storage, district heating and cooling), energy efficiency (leveraging economies of scale); flexible load management (optimizing inter-sectoral electric and thermal loads), cost savings and revenue generation (participating in grid services) and benchmarking and reporting. Several of these use cases have quantifiable metrics such as efficiency and reliability (e.g. major event day, catastrophic day). Others such as resilience are qualitative, but effective when combined with other applications such as energy efficiency and value-add services to the grid.

Figure 1 - CityEOS


C40 Cities Data for Policy: Using Energy Epidemiology to Support Cities Set Goals and Track Progress

Cities across the world have been setting ambitious goals and implementing policy actions to address climate change, ranging from benchmarking to audits to cap and trade schemes.  What are the impacts of these policies? This project seeks to apply energy epidemiological approaches to help cities set goals, track performance and learn from their peers. The project is sponsored by C40 Cities, which connects more than 90 of the world’s greatest cities, representing 650+ million people and one quarter of the global economy. Highlights: 

  • Washington DC Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS). Berkeley lab analyzed the potential energy savings and greenhouse gas reductions, as well as the potential cost impacts, from the implementation of a Building Energy Performance Standard (BEPS) for existing buildings in Washington, D.C. The results show that requiring all buildings over 10,000 square feet to meet the 50th percentile of ENERGY STAR scores in the District has the potential to reduce citywide energy usage by over 20%, which equates to 1.05 million tons of greenhouse gases annually. See the Report 
  • City trends and insights: Cities in the C40 Private Building Efficiency (PBE) network face the challenge of trying to understand what actions are effective. Using benchmarking data, Berkeley Lab analyzed how energy use intensity over time within each city and energy use intensity across several cities have changed. The objective of the analysis was to start to understand which cities are making progress quickly to reduce emissions. This has been carried out for office buildings (11 cities) and multifamily buildings (6 cities).  See the report (download link) 
  • Berkeley Lab developed a manual on using data for policy. Targeted at city policy makers, efficiency program administrators and data analysts, it provides guidance and best practices on how to use data for developing and implementing policy on building energy efficiency.  Download the manual



CityBES is an open data and computing platform for city buildings, energy, and sustainability. CityBES builds upon CBES (a 2019 R&D 100 Awardee) which uses OpenStudio and EnergyPlus for detailed energy modeling of every building in a city. CityBES uses 3D city models in the international standard CityGML and GeoJSON. Main features of the tool include (1) modeling and evaluating retrofit of commercial and residential buildings at district or city scale for deep savings or zero-net energy, (2) modeling and evaluating residential buildings at district or city scale for improvements of thermal resilience under extreme weather events, (3) evaluating potential of building rooftop PV at district or city scale, (4) visualizing building performance (a dozen metrics covering energy, peak demand, GHG emissions, water use, retrofit saving potential, compliance status), (5) building energy benchmarking across cities, (6) visualizing and analysis of urban microclimate to inform urban heat island, heat vulnerability risk, and building energy codes, and (7) modeling and evaluation of district energy systems for city blocks or districts (under development). 

CityBES Chart


Multiscale Coupled Urban Systems

The Multiscale Coupled Urban Systems project, part of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s  Exascale Computing Project, aims to develop a computational framework to enable related urban models to run as an ensemble of coupled models facilitated by a data hub. This project is a joint effort between ANL (Charlie Catlett, PI), LBNL (Tianzhen Hong, Co-PI), and ORNL (Jibonananda Sanyal, Co-PI). The computational framework integrates building energy models (EnergyPlus), urban climate model (WRF), transportation models (TRANSIMS and CommuterSIM), and socio-economic models (ChiSIM) to enable stakeholders to evaluate and quantify interdependencies between these sectors and to inform urban planning, operation and retrofit of urban infrastructure supporting cities’ energy and environmental goals.

Figure 3 - Multiscale coupled urban systems

Integrated Multi-sector, Multi-scale Modeling (IM3)

The Department of Energy’s (DOE) Climate and Environmental Sciences Division is funding a PNNL-led project titled Integrated Multi-sector, Multi-scale Modeling (IM3) Scientific Focus Area (SFA).  The long-term goals of this SFA are to develop a flexible and extensible modeling framework that captures the dynamic multi-scale interactions among climate, energy, water, land, socioeconomics, critical infrastructure, and other sectors and to use this framework to study the vulnerability and resilience of coupled human and natural systems from local to continental scales under scenarios that include short-term shocks, long-term stresses, and feedbacks associated with human decision- making. It will also explore how different model configurations, levels of complexity, multi-model coupling strategies, and spatial and temporal resolutions influence simulation fidelity and the propagation of uncertainties. The first three years of the SFA will focus on systematically building the foundational scientific understanding and computational tools needed to develop and deploy an integrated multi-sector, multi-scale modeling framework, with an emphasis on the climate-energy-water-land interactions.  Major research thrust areas include population dynamics, land use and land cover change (LULCC), and energy-water interactions. The project’s approach emphasizes leveraging existing efforts and emerging capabilities, systematically increasing complexity, and engaging with a range of communities to help establish this SFA as a long-term home for cutting-edge climate impact, adaptation, and vulnerability (IAV) research. Ultimately, the goal of the SFA is to dramatically improve scientific understanding of how the complex coupled human-Earth system responds to different stresses, which will in turn inform decision-making across a range of sectors and scales.

Figure 4 - IM3


IEA EBC Annex 70: Building Energy Epidemiology

Annex 70 focuses on the analyses of real building energy use at scale and the emerging field of energy epidemiology, which seeks to develop robust approaches to such analyses. Annex 70 is identifying, reviewing, evaluating and producing leading edge methods for studying and modeling the building stock including: data collection techniques on energy use, building features and occupant features, and building morphology; analysis of smart meter energy data, building systems, and user behavior; and modeling energy demand among sub-national and national building stocks. Annex 70 supports member countries in the task of developing realistic transition pathways to dramatic reductions in energy use and carbon emissions associated with their buildings by:

  • Comparing across the national approaches to developing building stock data sets, building stock models, and to addressing the energy performance gap in order to identify lessons that can be learned and shared;
  • Establishing best practice in the methods used for gathering and analyzing real building energy use data; and,
  • Evaluating the scope for using real building energy use data at scale to inform policy making and to support industry in the development of low energy and low carbon solutions

For more information, visit Annex 70 website.


IEA EBC Annex 79: Occupant-centric building design and operation

Annex 79 aims to integrate and implement occupancy and occupant behavior into the building design and operation to improve both energy performance and occupant comfort. A group of Annex 79 participants wrote a review article, Occupant-Centric Building and Energy Modelling with Urban Big Data, which covers sensing, dataset, modeling and analysis methods, as well as applications of urban big data to inform cities and their consultants on their research and projects on energy efficiency, smart mobility, and urban climate. For more information, visit Annex 79 website.

Figure 5 - Urban Big Data


IEA EBC Annex 80: Resilient Cooling

LBNL and the UC Berkeley Center for the Built Environment (CBE) are representing the U.S. in Annex 80 (2019 – 2023). Affordable and effective passive/low-energy cooling measures can help homes and businesses adapt to increasingly frequent extreme heat events by making building occupants more resilient to hot weather, boosting comfort, health, and productivity; making building cooling systems more resilient to hot weather, improving their ability to meet cooling load; and making the electric grid more resilient to hot weather, reducing the numbers of hours each year in which power demand, spiked by extraordinary demand for air conditioning, exceeds power supply. These measures could reduce illness and death in disadvantaged communities where residents lack air conditioning. They will also benefit any community subject to scheduled or unscheduled power outages. The U.S. team will leverage its deep expertise in (a) using solar-control envelope technologies (advanced windows, shading, and cool roofs/walls) and no/low energy ventilation (natural ventilation; low-power fan ventilation that can be powered from PVs, batteries, and/or standby generators) to reduce externally induced heat gains to the indoor environment, remove heat from the indoor environment, and otherwise improve occupant thermal comfort through the use of air movement to remove body heat; and (b) evaluating hourly thermal loads, HVAC energy use, and occupant comfort with simulation tools such as EnergyPlus and the CBE comfort model. For more information, visit Annex 80 website.

Figure 6 - Annex 80


Smart Energy Analytics

Over the last three years, LBNL's Smart Energy Analytics Campaign has recognized several municipalities for their exemplary work implementing energy data analytics in their public buildings. Whether it is the single Public Safety Building in Salt Lake City with savings of 35% on gas and electricity, or the at-scale success of 136 buildings with 8% savings at the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Campaign has provided technical assistance to help cities and states maximize the value of analytics. Additional success stories for the District of Columbia Department of General Services, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and 18 other organizations are found here.


IBPSA Project 1

IBPSA Project 1, led by LBNL’s Michael Wetter and RWTH Aachen’s Christoph van Treeck, coordinates the work of 29 institutes and companies to create open-source software that builds the basis of next generation computing tools for the design and operation of building and district energy and control systems. It extends work conducted under the IEA EBC Annex 60. All work is open-source and built on three standards: IFC for data modeling at the building scale, CityGML for data modeling at the district scale, and Modelica for modeling the performance of building and district energy systems. For more information, visit https://ibpsa.github.io/project1.

Figure 7 - IBPSA1


Bidirectional Low Temperature District Energy Systems for Seasonal Heat Storage and Grid Services

The vision of community-scale geothermal energy technologies is for communities to make optimal use of their subsurface for multiple sustainable energy and community resilience benefits. These benefits include the utilization of multiple geothermal technologies that can be operated in a synergistic manner. The research group consists of a team of scientists and engineers from EESA, ETA, and UC Berkeley, with tasks focusing on the deployment and operation of different technologies that would utilize a range of potential geothermal resources. The ETA team leads the task of coupling above-ground building and district energy models from the Modelica Buildings Library with underground detailed heat and mass transfer models from the TOUGH simulator. The integrated dynamic energy simulation provides a more accurate assessment to support the design, sizing and operation of district heating and cooling systems with geothermal heat exchange for seasonal energy storage.

Figure 8



In a collaborative effort between LBNL, NREL and CU Boulder, LBNL develops advanced simulation tools for district energy systems for integration in URBANopt. This will provide a seamless modeling workflow from the plant to the load, for a variety of applications (mixed use development, combined space heating and cooling and service water heating) and scales (typically ranging from five to fifty connected buildings). The targeted end users are mechanical engineers involved in urban design, construction and energy services. The tools will provide them with unique analytic capabilities to assess the impact of topology alternatives, design variants, equipment selection and sizing as well as control strategies. That cutting edge simulation platform is expected to strongly influence the way district systems are designed within new development and retrofit projects. Yielded benefits for the communities encompass reduced energy use, enhanced capabilities of load shifting, better grid responsiveness, improved resilience and significant penetration of renewables and waste heat recovery.

LBNL’s research focus is twofold: 1) we aim to enhance the modeling capabilities of the Modelica Buildings Library in terms of scope, performance and user experience for district energy systems, 2) we support the development of fifth generation district heating and cooling systems which rely on a central distribution loop operated near ground temperature, and decentralized temperature boosters e.g. water to water heat pumps. For such disruptive designs, the ability to simulate with the same numerical model detailed control, temperature and pressure transients as well as typical yearly operation is key to demonstrating robustness and efficiency and broadening the adoption of the technology.

Figure 9


Members of the Urban Systems Group participated and presented their research at a dozen international and national conferences, workshops and seminars.

  • ACM BuildSys UrbSys Workshop
    Mary Ann Piette gave a keynote on city energy operating systems at the 1st International Urban Building Energy Sensing, Controls, Big Data Analysis, and Visualization (UrbSys) Workshop, as part of the 6th ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Buildings, Cities, and Transportation (BuildSys 2019) in New York City, November 10, 2019. Mary Ann also wrote a forward for the UrbSys proceeding.​​
  • ​IBPSA International Building Simulation Conference 2019 ​
    Tianzhen Hong attended the 2019 IBPSA Building Simulation Conference in Rome, September 1-3, 2019. He organized a panel on urban energy information and modeling, including speakers of Rishee Jain of Stanford University, Christoph Reinhart of MIT, Ben Polly of NREL, and Joshua New of ORNL. Tianzhen also made two presentations: one on heat emissions from buildings and the other (on behalf of Xuan Luo) on modeling thermal interactions between buildings in an urban context. Urban scale energy modeling and analysis was the No. 1 popular topic at the conference.

IBPSA 2019

  • ASHRAE Building Performance Analysis Conference (BPAC) 2019​​
    Tianzhen Hong and Xuan Luo participated in the ASHRAE BPAC in Denver, September 25-27, 2019. Tianzhen Hong presented, Introduction of an Exascale Computing Project: Multiscale Coupled Urban Systems, at the Urban Scale Modeling seminar. Xuan Luo also presented, Evaluating the Impact of Building Heat Emissions to Urban Microclimate, at the Urban Scale Modeling seminar. 
  • ​The 10th International Supercomputing Conference in México (ISUM 2019)​
    Tianzhen Hong gave a keynote at ISUM 2019, Urban Systems on High Performance Computing, on March 27, 2019. Urban systems are systems of systems with complex interactions: human + urban climate + urban infrastructure + IoT technologies. Although individual models exist with diverse computational requirements, but are not integrated with expanding new sources of data and are rarely coupled into multi-system simulations. Big data from urban sensing and IoT combined with multi-physics modeling are enabled on HPC to solve city scale computational problems to inform decision making in urban planning, design, operation and controls for resource efficiency, resilience and sustainability.
  • IBPSA Project 1 Rome meeting
    Michael Wetter led the 4th Expert Meeting of the IBPSA Project 1 on August 31 and September 1, 2019. The meeting took place in Rome, Italy and was attended by 50 people. The meeting coordinated the ongoing work in the various tasks. Task 1 held hands-on training for the BOPTEST Building Optimization Performance Tests. Joint sessions between Task 1 and 3 discussed methods for how to improve the computing performance of large district energy models. A joint session between Task 2 and 3 clarified how to link district-level data models with Modelica models for district heating systems that are being developed for the DESTEST validation suite.

For more information about IBPSA Project 1, visit ibpsa.github.io/project1
For the slides of the meeting and its various breakout sessions, see the github.com/ibpsa/project1/tree/master/meetings/2019-08-31-expert-meeting-rome

IBPSA Project 1 Expert Meeting Attendees.

  • City Pulse Workshop at NYU CUSP​​​
    Tianzhen Hong attended the City Pulse Workshop on May 2-3, 2019 at NYU CUSP. He presented data and methods to characterize urban building stock as part of the research for CityBES. The purpose of this workshop was to identify the data, models, and tools needed to understand the “city pulse” and to explore possible applications in both “data-rich” and “data-poor” environments. This includes a review of various sensor modalities (remote, in-situ, mobile), administrative data, social media and citizen-generated data, and transactional data, together with issues of data acquisition, management and sharing, and privacy, bias, and security. Research horizons and challenge problems were identified and refined.​​
  • ASHRAE Conference in Kansas​​​​
    Tianzhen Hong presented, city-scale building energy modeling and calibration, at the seminar of multiscale building energy modeling, part of the ASHRAE Conference in Kansas City in June 2019. 
  • Drexel University - Consortium for Climate Risk in the Urban Northeast (CCRUN)​​​
    Tianzhen Hong gave a talk, Pathway to 100% clean energy for buildings in cities, at the CCRUN seminar on December 4, 2019.
  • AGU 100 Fall Meeting
    AGU is hosting its Centennial Meeting December 9-13, 2019 in San Francisco. This Fall Meeting 2019 will prepare you for what’s ahead: rapid developments in our science, new approaches to observing our Earth and beyond, the introduction of new data streams, growing demand for accessible science, the expansion of convergent science, and more. AGU will celebrate our past and inspire the future by bringing together the people, the imagination, and the science that will ignite our next hundred years to make our planet safer, cleaner, and more sustainable. Andrew Jones and Pouya Vahmani will present, Water, Energy, Health, and Heat: Multi-Sector Urban Tradeoffs in a Warming World. Tianzhen Hong will present a poster, Urban Sensing and Modeling to Inform Building Energy Efficiency. 
  • Annex 80 First Expert Meeting (Vienna, Austria)​​
    Ronnen Levinson represented the United States at the First Expert Meeting of IEA Annex 80 (Resilient Cooling), convened in Vienna on Oct 21 - 22, 2019. Thirty-two participants from 13 countries discussed the use of passive/low-energy cooling strategies to make people, buildings, and the power grid more resilient to extreme heat events.
  • Smart Cities Week
    Reshma Singh was invited to contribute to two sessions:
    • Panelist on “Building Disruption—Achieving the Next Generation of Buildings with Prop Tech” among building technology and real estate experts for this conversation about the latest in prop tech, and how buildings are the foundation for a smart city. Reshma presented research on the innovative technologies and best practices that maximize efficiencies such as urban energy data sensors, wireless communications systems, passive and renewable energy systems.​
    • ​Seminar lead on “A City Energy Operations Platform: Digitize, Democratize, and Decarbonize Your City.” Led an interactive seminar on promising use cases for an urban-scale energy data exchange platform. 

Smart Cities Council’s Smart Cities Week (San Diego CA, April 2019)

Invited talks

In 2019, we invited four speakers to present their significant urban or cities research work covering urban building energy benchmarking, energy policy, urban planning, as well as urban sensing and informatics.

Erin Beddingfield, a Senior Manager of Project Delivery at the Institute for Market Transformation (IMT), presented the City Energy Project (CEP) on May 1, 2019. CEP is a partnership between IMT and the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) working with 20 leading cities and counties in the U.S. to create and implement customized, impactful energy efficiency policies and programs. CEP recently released a resource library of plug-and-play tools and best practices based on the six-year project, which will enable other cities and counties to follow the work of the pioneering group of cities. Erin also gave a high-level overview of IMT's portfolio of city-based work.

Peter J. Kindel, a California-based Director in the City Design Practice of Skidmore Owings & Merrill (SOM), presented his recent collaboration with National Geographic. The project envisioned a ‘Future City’ as part of the magazine’s March 2019 issue focused on global urbanization. Drawing on inspiration from SOM’s extensive research and urban planning precedents, the Future City addresses urbanization in the year 2050, when the global population is expected to reach 9.8 billion. The project is designed around several key principles, including conservation of ecological resources, dense settlement patterns, and the behavior of people and culture. Peter also presented the concept of biomorphic urbanism that formed the foundation of the Future City project. This was an ETA Seminar on June 7, 2019.

Adam Hinge, managing Sustainable Energy Partnerships, presented on July 31, 2019 his work for C40: Building Energy Efficiency Policies and Progress in World-Leading Cities. He reviewed the progress on building energy reduction, normalized to economic activity, population, and GHG emissions, in two globally recognized policy leading large cities: Tokyo and New York City. These two cities have committed to ambitious building energy and GHG reduction policies (e.g. building energy benchmarking and cap-and-trade) and have done comprehensive annual progress reporting of both energy and GHG emissions down to building sector (e.g. residential, services, etc.) level.  Adam also discussed data challenges with comparability of progress, and recommendations to make future comparisons of relative progress more robust.

Constantine E. Kontokosta, an Associate Professor of Urban Science and Planning and Director of the Civic Analytics Program at the NYU Marron Institute of Urban Management, presented on November 21, 2019 the challenges and opportunities of using computational methods and large-scale, high-resolution urban data to advance social justice and climate action in cities. Meeting the ambitious carbon reduction goals set by major global cities requires new policy tools based on validated, data-driven models that learn from physical, natural, and social theories of urban planning. He discussed specific examples of building energy efficiency and carbon reduction strategies, high-resolution models of disaster response and recovery, and bias and discrimination in algorithmic decision-making applied to city predictive models.   


Michael Wetter, Christoph van Treeck, Lieve Helsen, Alessandro Maccarini, Dirk Saelens, Darren Robinson, Gerald Schweiger. IBPSA Project 1: BIM/GIS and Modelica framework for building and community energy system design and operation - ongoing developments, lessons learned and challenges. IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science, Vol. 323, September, 2019.

J. Langevin, C.B. Harris, J.L. Reyna. Assessing the potential to reduce U.S. building CO2 emissions 80% by 2050. Joule, 3(10):2403-2424, 2019. doi.org/10.1016/j.joule.2019.07.013

A. Satre-Meloy, J. Langevin. Assessing the time-sensitive impacts of energy efficiency and flexibility in the US building sector. Environmental Research Letters, 2019. doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ab512e

M.A. Piette, R. Singh, A. K. Prakash. Evaluation of the Need for and Design of a City Energy Operations System. In Proceedings of 6th ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Buildings, Cities, and Transportation (BuildSys 2019). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2019. dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?id=3363539

Singh, Reshma, Baptiste Ravache, and Mary Ann Piette. Energy Modeling in Urban Districts: Forecast of multi-sector Energy Use and GHG Emissions. 2019. 2001218.

T. Hong, Y. Xu, K. Sun, W. Zhang and X. Luo. Visualizing urban microclimate and quantifying its impact on building energy use in San Francisco. In Proceedings of 6th ACM International Conference on Systems for Energy-Efficient Buildings, Cities, and Transportation (BuildSys 2019). ACM, New York, NY, USA, 2019.

T. Hong, Y. Chen, X. Luo, N. Luo, S.H. Lee. Ten questions on urban building energy modeling, Building and Environment, 2019. doi.org/10.1016/j.buildenv.2019.106508

X. Luo, T. Hong. Modeling thermal interactions between buildings in urban context, IBPSA Building Simulation Conference, Rome, Italy, September 2-4, 2019.

Y. Chen, T. Hong. Automatic and Rapid Calibration of Urban Building Energy Models, IBPSA Building Simulation Conference, Rome, Italy, September 2-4, 2019.

T. Hong, J. Yang, X. Luo. Heat emissions from buildings to ambient air, IBPSA Building Simulation Conference, Rome, Italy, September 2-4, 2019.

X. Xu, C. Yin, W. Wang, N. Xu, T. Hong, Q. Li. Revealing Urban Morphology and Outdoor Comfort through Genetic Algorithm-driven Urban Block Design in Dry and Hot Regions of China, Sustainability, 2019. doi.org/10.3390/su11133683

Y. Chen, T. Hong, X. Luo, B. Hooper. Development of City Buildings Dataset for Urban Building Energy Modeling. Energy and Buildings, 2019. doi.org/10.1016/j.enbuild.2018.11.008

R. Jain, X. Luo, G. Sever, T. Hong, C. Catlett. Representation and evolution of urban weather boundary conditions in Downtown Chicago. Building Performance Simulation, 2018. doi.org/10.1080/19401493.2018.1534275

Piette, Mary Ann, Rebecca Zarin Pass, Reshma Singh, and Tianzhen Hong. "Review of City Energy and Emissions Analysis Needs, Methods & Tools." 2018 ACEEE Summer Study on Energy Efficiency in Buildings. 2018. eta.lbl.gov/publications/review-city-energy-emissions-analysis

Zhang J, Mohegh A., Li Y, Levinson R, Ban-Weiss G. 2018. Systematic comparison of the influence of cool wall versus cool roof adoption on urban climate in the Los Angeles basin. Environmental Science & Technology. doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.8b00732  

Zhang J, Li Y, Tao W, Liu J, Levinson R, Mohegh A, Ban-Weiss G. 2019. Investigating the urban air quality effects of cool walls and cool roofs in Southern California. Environmental Science & Technology, 53(13), 7532–7542. doi.org/10.1021/acs.est.9b00626

Taha H, Levinson R, Mohegh A, Gilbert H, Ban-Weiss G, Chen S. 2018. Air-temperature response to neighborhood-scale variations in albedo and canopy cover in the real world: Fine-resolution meteorological modeling and mobile temperature observations in the Los Angeles climate archipelago. Climate 6, 53 (25 pp). doi.org/10.3390/cli6020053

Reach out to us:


Tianzhen Hong, Lead of the Urban Systems Group, [email protected]