Innovation Award Finalist: Hi-Res CFD for Wind Loading of Tall Buildings

Wind Loading Tests Become More Effective and Accurate

Accurate analysis of the mean and resonant wind loads is vital for the structural design of tall buildings. The established analysis method is scale model testing in wind tunnels, which are limited in the resolution at which they can measure building forces. High Resolution Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) can provide the full pressure map on the building’s surfaces.

Testing for base loads, cladding pressures and aeroelasticity requires three separate wind tunnel tests. All three of these can be modeled in a single CFD test, which can also produce a wind microclimate assessment for the area surrounding the building (which would require a 4th wind tunnel test).

Traditional, low-resolution CFD cannot accurately model the complex and detailed flow structures which cause the fluctuating component of the wind loads on a tall building.
High-resolution CFD takes advantage of recent advances in super-computing to accurately model realistic flow conditions, with continuous correlation to physical data. Advanced methods of model generation coupled with a rapid and flexible solving capability provide very fast feedback into the design loop. Intelligent post-processing of results offers a more complete picture and deeper insight into flow structures than are available with traditional methods.