151-8007-00L  Urban Physics

SemesterAutumn Semester 2023
LecturersY. Zhao, D. W. Brunner, A. Rubin, C. Steger, D. A. Strebel, H. Wernli, J. M. Wunderli
Periodicityyearly recurring course
Language of instructionEnglish


151-8007-00 GUrban Physics
No course on 26.10.2023 (seminar week) and no course on 21.12.2023.
3 hrs
Thu12:45-15:30HIL E 9 »
Y. Zhao, D. W. Brunner, A. Rubin, C. Steger, D. A. Strebel, H. Wernli, J. M. Wunderli

Catalogue data

AbstractUrban physics: wind, wind comfort, pollutant dispersion, natural ventilation, driving rain, heat islands, climate change and weather conditions, urban acoustics and energy use in the urban context.
Objective- Basic knowledge of the global climate and the local microclimate around buildings
- Impact of urban environment on wind, ventilation, rain, pollutants, acoustics and energy, and their relation to comfort, durability, air quality and energy demand
- Application of urban physics concepts in urban design
Content- Climate Change. The Global Picture: global energy balance, global climate models, the IPCC process. Towards regional climate scenarios: role of spatial resolution, overview of approaches, hydrostatic RCMs, cloud-resolving RCMs
- Urban micro climate and comfort: urban heat island effect, wind flow and radiation in the built environment, convective heat transport modelling, heat balance and ventilation of urban spaces - impact of morphology, outdoor wind comfort, outdoor thermal comfort,
- Urban energy and urban design. Energy performance of building quarters and cities, decentralized urban energy production and storage technologies, district heating networks, optimization of energy consumption at district level, effect of the micro climate, urban heat islands, and climate change on the energy performance of buildings and building blocks.
- Wind driving rain (WDR): WDR phenomena, WDR experimental and modeling, wind blocking effect, applications and moisture durability
- Pollutant dispersion. pollutant cycle : emission, transport and deposition, air quality
- Urban acoustics. noise propagation through the urban environment, meteorological effects, urban acoustic modeling, noise reduction measures, urban vegetation
- Practical exercise on climatic data collection and analyze
Lecture notesThe course lectures and material are provided online via Moodle.
Prerequisites / NoticeFor MIBS Master students 151-8011-ooL Building Phyics Theory & Application is a pre-requisit for this course or instructor permission. For others no prior knowledge is required.

Performance assessment

Performance assessment information (valid until the course unit is held again)
Performance assessment as a semester course
ECTS credits3 credits
ExaminersY. Zhao, D. W. Brunner, A. Rubin, C. Steger, D. A. Strebel, H. Wernli, J. M. Wunderli
Typegraded semester performance
Language of examinationEnglish
RepetitionRepetition only possible after re-enrolling for the course unit.
Additional information on mode of examinationExercise with report (30%) and written test (70%). Hand in of report mid December. Test takes place in January at ETH before the session examinations.
Online examinationThe examination may take place on the computer.

Learning materials

Main linkLectures material can be found on Moodle. (see below) Further information on the Chair's website.
Only public learning materials are listed.


No information on groups available.


Places136 at the most
Waiting listuntil 01.10.2023

Offered in

Architecture MasterField of Technology in ArchitectureWInformation
Integrated Building Systems MasterCore CoursesWInformation