The link between urban contextual form and building energy use has been attracting attention in the field recently. Most studies measure urban form using a set of parameters, which are then used to explain building energy use variation. Typically, the results obtained are explained with a speculation on different mechanisms and their balances. However, such an approach does not quantify the contributions of individual mechanisms. This study uses mediation models to examine urban contextual form’s influence on building energy use, using building solar insolation, context temperature, and context urban vitality as mediators. Summer electricity, winter electricity, summer gas, and winter gas use intensities are analyzed. The results show that mediators significantly influence various contextual variables, and their impact varies across seasons and types of energy use. These mediators can strengthen or undermine each other, influencing the net impact of contextual form. Thus, urban form energy efficiency interventions need to consider those mechanisms and their effects, considering the specific period and type of energy use.
Keywords urban building energy, urban environment, urban context, building energy use mechanisms