Evaluation of the QUIC-URB wind solver and QESRadiant radiation-transfer model using a dense array of urban meteorological observations

Pascale Girard, Daniel F. Nadeau, Eric R. Pardyjak, Matthew Overby, Peter Willemsen, Rob Stoll, Brian N. Bailey, Marc B. Parlange

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


This study assesses the performance of QUIC-URB, a fast-response urban flow model, and QESRadiant, a ray tracing radiation transfer model. Both models are components of the QUIC EnvSim 3D urban micro-scale model, which aims to simulate meteorological variables at high spatiotemporal resolution (~ 1 min, ~ 1 m) in urban settings. The evaluation was performed over a 5.85 ha sector of a university campus, in which complex 3D building geometry, vegetation, and various surface materials were modelled. First, wind speeds computed with QUIC-URB were compared to 30-min measurements over 10 days at 19 locations. Although results showed a significant underestimation for locations in the wake of buildings, considering model assumptions, its inexpensive computational cost, and measurement uncertainty, the agreement between computed and measured wind speeds is good (r2 = 0.53, mean absolute error = 0.68 m s− 1). Second, incoming radiation computed with QESRadiant was compared to 2-min measurements over seven clear sky days at 17 locations. Overall, the agreement between computed and measured incoming solar radiation was excellent (r2 = 0.95). For both models, simulations were run successfully on a standard laptop machine with highly reasonable computational cost, on the order of minutes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)657-674
Number of pages18
JournalUrban Climate
StatePublished - Jun 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to thank all collaborators involved in the LUCE measurement campaign, in particular Guillermo Barrenetxea, François Ingelrest, Hendrik Huwald, Olivier Couach, Elie Bou-Zeid, Martin Vetterli, John Selker, Julien Mezzo and the EPFL – Environmental Engineering 2006 design class. We are also grateful to Claudio Carneiro for providing the campus digital elevation model. This research was in part funded by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec – Nature et Technologies through grant 2016-NC-188884 . This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under the following Grant Nos.: 0828214 , 1134580 , 0828206 , 1133590 , and 1512740 .

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Elsevier B.V.


  • Building resolving
  • Model validation
  • Ray-tracing
  • Urban flow
  • Urban vegetation


Dive into the research topics of 'Evaluation of the QUIC-URB wind solver and QESRadiant radiation-transfer model using a dense array of urban meteorological observations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this