Toronto Metropolitan University
Saunders_Kelsey.pdf (3.39 MB)

Evaluating the impact of solar envelope zoning solar access and development density: A study of mid-rise buildings in Toronto

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posted on 2023-04-13, 18:08 authored by Kelsey Saunders
The global population is growing exponentially with a trend of people moving to cities, resulting in rapid growth in the urban built environment. It is critical for urban planners to promote health, comfort, and resiliency in urban areas through integrated solar access requirements within zoning regulations. This paper evaluates the potential for the Solar Envelope Zoning (SEZ) method as a zoning tool in Toronto, Canada. The SEZ method is compared with current zoning regulations and mid-rise buildings guidelines using parametric modelling to establish the solar envelope on a typical building site. The resulting development density and solar radiation incident on adjacent building facades is evaluated. A similar study is performed on a site that is currently proposed for development along one of Toronto’s main avenues. The results show that by redefining solar access requirements to include climate dependent variables, SEZ can provide competitive development density while improving solar access.





  • Master of Building Science


  • Building Science

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • Thesis