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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. Coast winds frequently pose issues as the proximity to the ocean results in thin boundary layer, causing high speed low altitudes winds . Previously, project assessments quantified and assessed these issues using physical scale models mounted in wind tunnels. However, often the preference is now for CFD, as it not only offers faster and more cost-effective solutions but also enables the testing of a wide range of innovative solutions across various building geometries, wind characteristics, and fenestration openings.

Cut planes of the simulated wind field between two buildings for a range of building designs.

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 facades to identify low cost options that improved the wind comfort within the courtyard. Limiting the analysis to a two-dimensional steady-state CFD model provided a quick and cost-effective answer. The study revealed that subtle geometry changes, such as the small flaps at the front edge of sunroof openings, had a significant impact on wind effects. The exact shape and positioning of these flaps were determined on a case-by-case basis and, when installed, resulted in the creation of a liveable outdoor space.


For further wind engineering examples see our sector page.