Semester of Graduation

Fall 2020


Master of Science in Civil Engineering (MSCE)


Structural Engineering

Document Type



The Urban Heat Island is a phenomenon often abbreviated as UHI, it occurs when an urban area experiences significantly warmer air and surface temperatures than the surrounding rural and residential areas. Reasons for the phenomenon’s occurrence are attributed to low surface albedo values, lack of vegetation within the urban environment, anthropogenic heat, and heat-inducive geometrical alteration of the urban canyon. This research will explore how the alteration of the geometrical canyon will influence the wind flow and air temperatures within it. It has been reported that the “step-up” building configuration (where the heights of the downwind buildings steadily increase) provides a significant increase to canyon wind speeds, but optimal building spacing within this configuration has yet to be explored. The specific outcome of the research was to establish trends between wind flow and canyon temperature values as the building spacings are progressively altered. The main tool for analysis will be ANSYS FLUENT to (1) verify simulated results to those of a baseline geometrical model observed in the literature, and (2) to document how changes in wind flow and temperature within an urban canyon will be effected when the step-up urban form is analyzed. The findings included an inverse trend between the building spacing ratio and average canyon temperatures, and a direct trend between this ratio and average canyon temperatures.

Committee Chair

Aly, Aly M.



Available for download on Wednesday, October 27, 2027