Urban Design, Masterplan Simulations and Consulting

Supporting holistic planning through scientific definition of context and likely performance

Masterplanning is one of the earliest steps in designing any new building, campus, neighborhood or city. A masterplan presents the overall characteristics of a development. It locates building types (e.g., residential) and their relative locations and specifies street layouts and placement of parks and green spaces. Most masterplans also include infrastructure layouts that require energy demand, renewable energy strategies, public transit, water and other sustainability measures to be reviewed, calculated and accommodated.

aerial view of city masterplan

A good masterplan sets the framework for vibrant development, leading to increased economic activity, more efficient energy use, reduced pollution and better health. The arrangement of streets and buildings each contribute to the betterment of other aspects of the design.

A flawed masterplan can sabotage all subsequent architectural design in the plan area. For example, poor massing of buildings may preclude effective natural ventilation or daylighting. In this situation, it may be difficult—or even impossible—to create a comfortable, efficient set of buildings and spaces. 

Our service

We help you ground your masterplanning effort in the best scientific data and engineering judgment.We are experts in how climate affects buildings and the spaces around them, and we have the data and computational resources to back up our conclusions and recommendations. In particular, we can quickly leverage deep computational resources early in the design process. We excel at rapid proof-of-concept testing—giving you freedom to innovate.

We use custom software to simulate wind, sun, thermal comfort and energy efficiency throughout the design process. Our climate analysis and in-house climate datasets are second to none. And we excel at assessing energy consumption and potential sustainable energy production. With such analysis, you get an integrated energy picture.

We bring an integrated team of in-house specialists to the table in workshops and early design meetings. In such meetings, these highly knowledgeable consultants can provide fast, on-the-ground advice, drawing on past experience and quick calculations.

  As design proceeds, we provide continual, detailed input to the design team on issues such as

  • Improving pedestrian thermal and wind comfort
  • Reduction of heat island
  • Means to reduce energy demand
  • Energy generation potential
  • Preventing adverse exhaust re-entrainment
  • Creating a pleasing acoustic, noise and vibration environment
  • Other environmental factors including water and waste reductions.

With this input, your team can make early design decisions that create a resilient, climate-responsive masterplan.