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Validation Case: Wind Loads on an Isolated Building

This validation case analyses the steady-state fluid flow around an isolated building. The aim is to validate the flow around the building using the numerical simulation results of SimScale against the experiments carried out at the Architectural Institute of Japan (AIJ)\(^1\).


The geometry is a rectangular block based on the physical setup.

isolated building physics set up with atmospheric boundary layer
Figure 1: Rectangular block geometry representing an isolated building and the atmospheric boundary layer profile interacting with the geometry\(^2\)

Analysis Type and Domain

Tool Type: OPENFOAM®

Analysis Type: Incompressible steady-state analysis

Turbulence Model: k-omega SST

Mesh and Element types:

The “Hex-dominant parametric (only CFD)” tool was used to mesh the domain. Different mesh refinements were applied to get a good quality mesh.

Mesh typeNumber of cellsElement Type
Hex-dominant parametric 1.411×107 3D hex
Table 1: Mesh characteristics. The mesh is highly hexahedral.

Simulation Setup


  • Air
    • \((\nu)\) Kinematic viscosity: 1.55e-5 \(m^2 \over \ s\)
    • \((\rho)\) Density: 1 \(kg \over\ m^3\)

Boundary Conditions:

ParameterTop and Side facesInletOutletBuilding and Bottom walls
Velocity \([m/s]\)Slip wallFrom File uploadZero GradientNo-Slip wall
Pressure \([Pa]\)Slip wallZero Gradient 0.0 Zero Gradient
k \([m^2/s^2]\)Slip wall3.75e-3Zero GradientWall Functions
omega \([1/s]\)Slip wall3.375Zero GradientWall Functions
Table 2: Overview of the applied boundary conditions

The velocity at the inlet is assigned through the file-upload option provided on the platform. An atmospheric boundary layer profile is implemented at the inflow. The file corresponds to the velocity profile provided by experiments\(^1\).

Results Comparison

The numerical simulation results of longitudinal velocity at different planes are compared with experimental results provided in study\(^1\).

simscale results comparison with aij results for wind loads
Figure 2: Comparison of numerical and experimental results for the longitudinal velocity\(^1\)
wind loads as seen in simscale post-processor
Figure 3: Velocity streamlines imposed on pressure contours

Last updated: July 30th, 2021

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