Case Study

Smart architecture: Using numerical modeling to calculate the danger of channeled wind on an urban development 

Wasy Akhtar

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Wasy Akhtar

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Wasy brings with him over 15 years of industry experience in computational analysis across a range of industries including oil & gas, transportation, heavy machinery and life sciences.

The Challenge

Engineering innovation and smart architecture have led to an exciting urban environment optimized for the needs of pedestrians and cyclists. Narrower access ways are possible, which also allows more efficient use of space as architects seek to go higher. A risk of these designs is that the wind can be channeled in a way that is potentially dangerous for both pedestrians and cyclists. The customer in this project wanted to ensure that this risk was minimized.

The Solution

Element Digital Engineering generated a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model of the development and surrounding environment. A numerical modeling method, CFD allowed the accurate prediction of wind flow patterns between buildings, taking as input the local wind rose of prevailing winds, the development geometry, and the surrounding geometry to provide an accurate atmospheric boundary layer at the inlet to the development. Variations in temperature and weather that occur during the year were also taken into account.

Using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) in Architectural Planning

The Result

The model outputs enabled the team to generate a risk plot showing the likelihood of dangerous conditions occurring at every location in the development during the year. Some small changes to the design were recommended to mitigate this risk, and the result was judged acceptable by the planning authorities.

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