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Thesis defences

PhD Oral Exam - Chang Shu, Building, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Assessment of the Effects of Extreme Heat Events on Buildings

Thursday, December 2, 2021 (all day)

This event is free


School of Graduate Studies


Dolly Grewal



When studying for a doctoral degree (PhD), candidates submit a thesis that provides a critical review of the current state of knowledge of the thesis subject as well as the student’s own contributions to the subject. The distinguishing criterion of doctoral graduate research is a significant and original contribution to knowledge.

Once accepted, the candidate presents the thesis orally. This oral exam is open to the public.


Due to urbanization and global warming, extreme heat events, e.g., heat waves, in the urban area tend to occur much more intensively and frequently, imposing a great threat to the health and safety of urban dwellers. The warming temperature also leads to a deteriorating of the indoor thermal conditions. Studies on indoor overheating should be conducted to figure out the interactions between the outdoor environment and indoor conditions and estimate possible approaches to optimize the design and operation of the building system adapting to the changing climate. Considering the building and construction assets are typically designed for a long period over several decades or even centuries. The resiliency of the buildings to extreme conditions should be reconsidered under the future climate conditions, therefore the future weather inputs should be critical for the building overheating study, and any possible mitigation intervenes should be re-evaluated under different future scenarios to evaluate the robustness of the decision and detect the potential risks. The study includes a procedure to select buildings from Montreal city for the field monitoring study, followed by the outcome of building information surveys and site visits. After an overall evaluation of these buildings, 6 school buildings, 5 hospital buildings and 3 residential social housings have been selected for further studies. The measured data are used for the overheating assessment of these buildings and the calibration of these real building models. Then overheating mitigation strategies will be applied to the baseline model to evaluate their effectiveness on both historical and future climate in the long run. To consider both the spatial distribution and the long-term changes in urban climate, the study developed a high-resolution regional climate model for the Montreal and Ottawa region. The validated climate model will be used for the future projection of a selected number of representative future years for the analysis of future building overheating conditions. The generated climate data are used as the input of EnergyPlus building simulations to evaluate the spatial-temporal pattern of the indoor overheating problem.

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