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Wind engineering is the study of wind and its effects on natural and built environments. This encompasses many fields including, wind loads on buildings, pedestrian wind comfort, wind turbine design, pollution or dust dispersion and the wind environment over airports. Computer modelling can be used to assess designs, minimise wind engineering risks and to improve building performance. In many cases, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a cheaper and faster alternative to traditional wind tunnel scale model testing.

Figure 1: CFD modelling was used to investigate the wind field over airports and to identify areas where aircraft may encounter adverse wind conditions.

Synergetics are qualified wind engineers and expert consultants in this field with years of experience using CFD and wind tunnel modelling to solve wind engineering problems. This includes:

  • assessing wind hazards over airports to identify areas where aircraft are likely to experience adverse wind shear and turbulence conditions. This also extends to the assessment of proposed building developments, to demonstrate compliance with the National Airports Safeguarding Framework (NASF Guideline B);
  • assessing terrain induced wind effects;
  • jet blast deflector optimisation and performance modelling;
  • assessing helicopter rotor wash to identify and optimise protective controls;
  • modelling pollution and dust dispersion in both urban and rural environments;
  • modelling the wind in complex terrain such as near coastal cliffs and escarpments, mountains and within urban street canyons;
  • assessing high-rise building designs against pedestrian wind comfort criteria and recommending changes that will enhance pedestrian safety and wind comfort;
  • modelling wind flow around buildings in order to determine structural loads and minimum design loads in accordance with AS/NZS 1170.2:2011 Structural design actions – Wind actions;
  • conducting wind analysis to determine building cladding pressures and wind loading on building façade elements;
  • analysis of historical meteorological and climate data to determine the probability of occurrence of adverse mean and gusting wind speeds;
  • preparation of CFD and desktop wind environment assessments and wind assessment reports to satisfy town planning application requirements;
  • modelling of transport of wind-borne debris from bush fires to understand and minimise the risk of ember attack; and
  • design and optimisation of wind turbines, natural ventilation systems and other systems that harness wind energy.

Streamlines flowing through a built-up environment to demonstrate results of wind engineering.
Figure 2: Synergetics use CFD to model wind flow in urban environments. We can use the results to determine wind loads on building facades and assess their impact on pedestrian wind comfort.