Date of Submission

Spring 5-1-2020

Degree Type

Undergraduate Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Architecture



Committee Chair/First Advisor

Ermal Shpuza PhD


In the last few decades, there has been a growing awareness about the relationship between building design and energy use, environmental impact, and sustainability in general. Now, environmental design is a well-established field of architectural studies and practices. By contrast, it is only recently that the relationship between urban design and energy use has started to get due attention by the designer and planning communities. Due to our increasing energy needs and imminent global urbanization, humanity needs a solution to tackle the largest energy consumer: the city. This thesis is situated within the newly emerging discourse on the relationship between urban morphology and energy use in cities. It proposes that morphological design can possibly improve energy efficiency in cities by means of designing urban morphologies, and the interactions between, street network, urban tissue, and block design. This thesis proposes a design methodology to develop and study various urban morphologies in 4 world cities as representatives of 4 climatic conditions. The thesis conducts thorough research on the link between building and urban morphologies to energy use focusing on solar radiation and airflow and ventilation. It proposes methods that can extend beyond the four climates considered to tackle other climatic and micro-climatic conditions around the globe. While the energy use has been used as a yardstick to filter appropriate solutions, the thesis develops innovative urban design solutions that prioritize human activities and social functions of the city.


The work in this thesis was inspired by research from others noted in the bibliography. It does not reflect the opinions of those noted in the bibliography. All non-factual statements not credited to those in the bibliography are my personal inferences and statements based on my architectural education at this school.