Key outcomes

  • Wind comfort improved
  • Costs minimised
  • Property value increased

Pedestrian comfort levels are a common wind engineering problem. Buildings can have a profound effect on surrounding wind patterns due to channelling and distortion of streamlines, and increased turbulence – all of which can adversely affect pedestrian comfort.  Traditionally, quantification and assessment of these issues during the project assessment has been tackled with physical scale models mounted in wind tunnels but CFD is increasingly preferred. CFD is not only less costly and faster but also enables a range of novel solutions to be tested quickly across a range of building geometries, wind characteristics and fenestration openings.

coastal wind speeds

Figure 1: Predicted wind speeds inside the courtyard for different geometries.

For example, in the case study presented here, the persistant south easterly winds made sitting in the courtyard of a coastal estate almost impossible due to unpleasant wind gusts.  Synergetics examined a range of building geometry modifications to identify low cost options that improved the wind comfort within the courtyard. The analysis was limited to a two dimensional steady state CFD model to provide an answer quickly at low cost.  It was found that subtle geometry changes similar to the small flaps at the front edge of sunroof openings made a profound difference to wind effects.  The precise shape and positioning was determined on a case by case basis - and when installed created a liveable outdoor space!