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City of London: Mesh and Geometry Guidelines

While simulating a Pedestrian Wind Comfort (PWC) analysis, mesh resolution is of prime importance. There are certain requirements that need to be taken care of while performing CFD simulations to get high-quality and reliable results that resolve the flow features accurately. These requirements ensure that the modeling approaches do not vary drastically, and stay within defined parameters.

Similarly, when it comes to simulating a building or a region within London to assess the wind comfort, there are certain meshing guidelines that should be followed. These guidelines are standard and are referred to as the City of London Guidelines.


SimScale uses Pacefish®\(^2\) solver to assess wind comfort in a PWC analysis. The mesh generated is a cartesian mesh, where cells are formed as cubes.

The City of London Guidelines are discussed below:

  • The 3D CAD model should be resolved for building features larger than 0.5 \(m\) near pedestrian areas to account for the localized wind conditions.
  • Critical locations like entrances, corners, or regions of specific interest must have cell size no greater than 0.3 \(m\).
  • A minimum of 10 cells should be included between buildings and across street canyons. However, cell sizes beyond the region of interest can be larger to avoid high-density meshes.
  • Features that are part of landscapes should be ignored if they don’t exceed 8 \(m\) in height. Large trees or hills might be included under careful consideration of their impacts since limited published guidance exists for the modeling of such landscape features.


To comply with the City of London guidelines, CAD models used should include all buildings that are within 400 \(m\) from the region of interest.
Taller buildings outside of this region need to be included if they fall upstream of the wind direction and can impact the flow patterns.

Figures 1 and 2 show the cartesian mesh generated, around ‘The Shard, London’ in SimScale complying with the City of London guidelines. CAD geometry credits to Accucities \(^3\).

top view of the lbm mesh around the shard in london city shown via the simscale platform
Figure 1: Top view of the cartesian mesh around The Shard, London generated in SimScale in compliance with the City of London guidelines.
side view of lbm mesh for the shard in london city simscale platform
Figure 2: Side view of the cartesian mesh plane for The Shard, London as per the guidelines. The mesh resolution becomes finer as one approaches the building features.

The Ideal SimScale Setup

In  order to have the most efficient setup complying with the guidelines, it is advised to use the following settings:

  • Radius of the region of interest: 385 \(m\)
  • Mesh Fineness: “very fine”
  • These settings will lead to a minimum mesh size of 0.5 \(m\).
  • In the critical areas an additional region refinement with a manual sizing at a target size of 0.3 \(m\) can be placed (leading to a local cell size of 0.25 \(m\))

More details on how to access the mesh and control its settings in PWC analysis can be found here.

Last updated: March 30th, 2021

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