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Pedestrian-Level Wind Simulation: How To Optimize Your Building Designs

Cloud-based wind simulation to evaluate, validate, and iterate designs quicker than ever before possible

Pedestrian wind comfort, or simply ground-level wind comfort, is a metric used to determine an acceptable level of airflow velocity around built structures for ground-level passersby. These types of wind simulation take into consideration meteorological data, aerodynamics, and comfort criteria. The data regarding the latter two is provided by physical experimentation combined with numerical simulation with computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

wind simulation applications

Typical Wind Comfort Assessment Considerations

By evaluating pedestrian wind comfort with CFD per industry standards such as Lawson, Davenport, and NEN 8100, urban master planners, civil engineers, and architects can predict the behavior of wind flow around buildings early, and benefit from an iterative design process.

This wind modelling assessment includes:

  • Local meteorological data
  • 36 wind rose-driven directions to be simultaneously simulated
  • Planned/existing building aerodynamics
  • Selected comfort criteria/wind comfort standard data
  • Wind effects such as tunnel throttling or vorticity
why online simulation is needed for wind comfort

Why Is Online Simulation with SimScale Needed for Pedestrian Wind Comfort?

As evaluating pedestrian wind comfort persists to be a cumbersome task as urban environments are constantly adapting and expanding, adding an easy-to-use wind analysis tool that works to simplify this method is a clear next step for your design process.

Through harnessing the cloud, SimScale eliminates the high cost of hardware coupled with steep learning curves that innately come with traditional on-premises simulation solutions. Using SimScale’s cloud-based platform, engineers are enabled to:

  • Run simulations in parallel allowing faster design optimization.
  • Begin right out of the gate with an easy-to-learn interface.
  • Avoid manual updates, installation, or maintenance and the fees that come with these actions.

Want to run a wind comfort simulation of your own?

pedestrian wind comfort simulation in london

Pedestrian Wind Comfort London

Recently, the City of London reassessed and reclassified their acceptable microclimate conditions, in an effort to prevent future builds causing wind discomfort to pedestrians. Here at SimScale, we’ve added a specific feature dedicated to wind comfort evaluation for developments in the City of London which is in accordance with the official guidelines. This public project analyzes the wind effect in and around the London vicinity of the infamous Walkie Talkie building.

pedestrian comfort analysis in paris using a public project in simscale

Paris La Défense District, Paris, Wind Comfort Analysis

Determining pedestrian wind comfort of existing, tourist-flocked, built environments is important for learning how to mitigate negative wind effects at ground level. In this project, we evaluate a famous tourist destination in Paris’ built environment. This simulation project contains a pedestrian wind comfort simulation of the La Défense district in Paris, France. Explore it here.

wind microclimate analysis in bristol using simscale cloud-based simulation

Wind Microclimate Analysis of Bristol, UK

This geometry from AccuCities was modified for simulation purposes. An average of the last 20% of the simulation time was then taken from the transient simulations. With this in mind, running a longer simulation does two things; it increases the amount of physical time average and also moves the time used for averaging further away from the start of the simulation, reducing the risk of any influence from initial condition disturbance. Learn more about the results obtained, UK wind microclimate standards, and how to run a wind comfort study like this in a city near you.

wind simulation study in a city center

Wind Comfort Evaluation of a Bustling City Center

In this SimScale public project, a fictitious model of a city center featuring trees in parks, along streets, and around avenues was used to showcase our latest LBM feature: porous media. This feature can assist engineers in simulating air flowing through trees in a multitude of different scenarios. Check it out now!

pedestrian wind comfort hudson yard vessel project

The Vessel Hudson Yard Wind Comfort Simulation

The Vessel in Manhattan, New York City, stands 16 stories tall and is comprised of 2.5K steps in a captivating honeycomb-like shape. This SimScale project simulates the airflow and ultimately determines pedestrian wind comfort around the famous Vessel structure, and what this means for tourists and city dwellers alike. 

smith and gill pedestrian wind comfort case study

Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture Boosted Innovation and Design Confidence with SimScale

“When we began using SimScale, we were able to shorten our CFD simulation feedback loop, which in turn allowed us to iterate and evaluate many design options at the earliest design phases of our projects. This proved to be particularly innovative because design changes during this time have the potential for the biggest impact on performance. The more our design team can test and make decisions based on these simulations directly translates to more confidence in meeting the project’s performance goals as well as desired design outcomes.”

Anthony Viola AIA Architect, Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture

smith and gill case study logo

Interested in getting started with cloud-based pedestrian wind comfort assessment?

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