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  1. Many researchers have studied the roles of building envelope materials on UHI, such as roofs, and walls, but few of them have explored the impacts of the emergence of the solar-reflective coatings, films, and panels but well-visible transmittance that is increasingly applied to glazed building facades, especially in hot climates, for outdoor thermal environments. The question then arises: Despite the positive effects of these strong solar-reflective facades on building heating and cooling energy savings, do they have the same positive effects on the adjacent outdoor area, especially in a dense urban context? This research aims to quantify the potential UHI effects of the solar-reflective facades relative to the non-reflective ones in a dense urban context, along with the heating and cooling energy performance analysis. As such, a simulation method in terms of a series of tools including LBNL Radiance, EnergyPlus, and WINDOW software was adopted in this work to analyze the solar radiation interactions between the façade surface and the surrounding urban structures and potential temperature rise under solar-reflective and non-reflective facades. The result shows that the annual cooling energy savings by using the solar-reflective facades are about 33.8% relative to the typical double-pane clear glazed façade because of the substantial reduction of U-factor and solar heat gains; But, this preliminary work also unveils the potential adverse effects of using such materials at the urban scale, leading nearly 2 times greater solar irradiation and UHI effects than the ones by the solar-non-reflective building surfaces in an urban area. Future optimization studies on the trade-off between the building cooling energy savings and UHI effects by the solar-reflective façades need to be conducted. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available October 1, 2024