Manipulating the Microclimate

Manipulating the Microclimate: Creating Comfortable Outdoor Spaces for People and Energy Efficient Communities

Engage with the tools to include manipulation of the microclimate in design work to influence the internal conditions and energy demand of buildings.


The presence of a building or neighborhood of buildings by definition creates a microclimate. The microclimate includes the wind, solar impacts, odor, noise, vibration, air quality, rain/snow/sand impacts, among others. In addition, the presence of one building can influence the internal conditions and energy demands of another. All of these features can be measured, modeled, and predicted. This course will provide you with a set of tools to enable you to include the manipulation of the microclimate in your design work. Examine case studies from three different climates and discuss meteorological data and how that should be challenged.

Learning objectives

  • Use new tricks to create comfortable outdoor spaces.        
  • See opportunities where simple massing adjustments or material choices change the acoustical or thermal performance of a space.
  • Be more critical of meteorological data, and understand why data can be bad and what to do about it.
  • Understand the modeling tools available to test the success of design.
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 $40  non-member
 $25  member
1.50 LUs
  • HSW
  • GBCI
  • RIBA