Our research activity aims at developing, implementing and validating advanced and innovative models, methods and tools for computational fluid dynamics and thermal engineering simulation of the built environment.
A short description of the currently ongoing projects is given on this website. Would you be interested in collaborating with us on any of those topics? Please, do not hesitate to contact us.
- Computational Fluid Dynamics for Quantitative Risk Assessment
- Development of software tools for automatic architectural CAD files treatment for numerical simulation
- Advanced atmospheric boundary layer modelling and simulation
- Nature Based Strategies for Urban and Building Design
- Integration of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation with Building Information Model (BIM)
Fire and Smoke Simulation
Pollutant emission and dispersion can also be simulated in order to predict both the environmental impact of emissions emanating from buildings and the effect of air pollution on the air quality inside the building. Applications of building Aerodynamics simulation with Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to Architecture, Engineering and Construction (AEC) design include:
- Wind load calculation
- Pedestrian wind comfort and safety studies
- Site planning
- Outdoor air quality assessment
Simulation of airflow around buildings
Pedestrian wind comfort and safety
High-rise building aerodynamics
CFD analysis of complex fluid dynamic interaction of high-rise buildings
Twisted high-rise building aerodynamic design (ongoing)
The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) defines a twisting building as one that progressively rotates its floor plates or its facade as it gains height. The aim of this project is to study the wind flow structures around a twisted high-rise building and the impact of design choices on it. Results from numerical simulations will be compared to those obtained for a non-twisted overlapped building that will be used as a reference.
Mesh generation for building Aerodynamics: challenges, best practices and lessons learned
CFD can simulate ventilation systems for complex and large buildings and infrastructures such as tunnels and offices, demonstrating what comfortable temperatures and air speeds can be maintained, and optimizing the overall strategy.
Occupant's thermal comfort and indoor air quality are the primary objectives of HVAC design for buildings and vehicles. Using simulation results designers can assess a variety of comfort criteria by predicting indoor environment conditions (air velocity, temperature, humidity, thermal radiation, pollutant concentration).
For high-performance HVAC systems such as radiant heating and cooling, underfloor air distribution (UFAD), and natural ventilation and hybrid systems that use both natural and mechanical conditioning of a building, it is critical to understand how the air flow and the surrounding environment impact the occupants' comfort. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations are the best available technique to investigate the performance of such systems.
CFD modeling of a displacement ventilation system for an office space
Office space indoor air quality assessment
Cleanroom design using CFD simulation
Fire and Smoke
By analyzing the results of simulations, building designers can understand and evaluate the impact of fire and smoke on structures and human occupants and improve design to reduce risk, limit damage and ensure safe access for fire fighters. Also, CFD is often the only way to prove that projects with complex and unique architectural features are safe and meet the requirements of safety codes.
Simulating fire and explosion scenarios is an important stage of building design. The results can demonstrate that smoke management and fire suppression systems are able to ensure the safety of occupants and preserve the structural integrity of the building.
BuildWind performs fire and smoke simulation using FDS (Fire Dynamics Simulator) software, a computational fluid dynamics code specifically developed to simulate smoke and heat transport in fire-driven fluid flows. It numerically solves a time-dependent form of the Navier-Stokes equations appropriate for low-speed, thermally-driven flow on a three-dimensional grid. Thermal radiation is computed using a finite volume technique and Lagrangian particle tracking is used to simulate smoke movement, sprinkler discharge and fuel sprays.
FDS has been developed and extensively validated to solve practical problems in fire protection engineering and can be effectively used in applications such as transport of heat and combustion products from fire, heat transfer between the gas and solid surfaces, sprinkler, heat detector, and smoke detector simulation. FDS is intended for use only by those competent in the fields of fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, heat transfer, combustion, and fire science, and is intended only to supplement the informed judgment of the qualified user. Sufficient evaluation of any model is necessary to ensure that users can judge the adequacy of its technical basis, appropriateness of its use, and confidence level of its predictions.
FDS is provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) of the United States Department of Commerce and it is currently maintained by the Building and Fire Research Laboratory (BFRL) of National Institute of Standards and Technology. The developers at NIST have formed a loose collaboration of interested stakeholders, including VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE), Engineering departments at various universities and fire protection engineering firms that use the software.
Sustainable development consists in ensuring future generations to have the same resources that we have today and maintain the desired environmental standards and quality of life.
Urban planning and design methods to achieve sustainability aim to create buildings and areas that are as neutral as possible by reducing their net environmental impact. Sustainable design criteria in the building industry involve topics such as natural ventilation, envelope performance, microclimate and internal air quality.