Computer modelling and simulation of buildings and the built environment is powerful for delivering meaningful results in a short time frame. Synergetics’ modelling capabilities can provide insight into the effects of building services design on internal airflows and can also be used to solve complex wind engineering problems, including analysing the effects of wind on the structural integrity of buildings, assessing pollution dispersion in and around buildings and assessing the nuisance posed by wind gusts on pedestrian comfort.

Assessment of thermal stratification within a multi storey office building

Figure 1: Synergetics used computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations assess HVAC system performance within a multi-storey building atrium. Results showed that high temperatures would be constrained to the atrium roof cavity.

Synergetics have a track record of using advanced modelling techniques to enhance and optimise many aspects of both construction and retrofit projects. For many of these projects, computer modelling is the only practical way to solve building design problems. For others, it is a cheaper and quicker alternative to the traditional alternative of wind tunnel scale model testing. The range of problems that Synergetics have solved in this sector includes:

  • energy modelling and optimisation to reduce heating and cooling bills;
  • computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling of innovative cost cutting and energy saving devices, such as thermal storage systems, natural ventilation and solar chimneys;
  • performing desktop and CFD, environmental wind comfort assessments for open areas, terraces and apartment balconies, and providing recommendations to improve comfort levels where problems occur. Case studies we have worked on in this field include examining wind comfort for a wide range of building types, including high-rise towers, shopping centres and domestic housing estates;
  • assessing suitability of heating ventilation and cooling (HVAC) systems to cope with extreme loads caused by unusual building features. If systems are found to not be suitable, optimisation and design improvements can be developed and assessed;
  • ventilation system optimisation and validation;
  • assessing the impact of building design on resisting ember attack during bushfires;
  • re-entrainment of pollutants into building air intakes. With increasing interest in co-generation and tri-generation plants in built up areas this is a growing are of interest. In addition, the risk of Legionella from cooling tower stack emissions is an ever-present risk;
  • identification of optimal locations and configuration of solar cells and small wind turbines to generate renewable energy and to achieve net zero building emissions;
  • custom designing sustainable building services solutions to meet NABERS and Green Star accreditation requirements; and
  • assessment of wind shear and turbulence impacts for building developments at airports. Land near airports is often in high demand, however the impact of building wakes on aircraft operations must be considered.
CFD can be used to assess wind comfort and wind loading on sky scrapers

Figure 2: Synergetics use wind engineering tools to assess wind comfort within urban street canyons and near multi-storey buildings.