Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) for the Built Environment

In certain applications CFD is well established, in Formula 1 racing for example and in the aerospace industry. In the built environment however, the use of CFD to solve fluid-flow problems is at the cutting edge. The applications of CFD for the built environment are wide-ranging, from modelling wind flows around entire cities to modelling the thermal flows within buildings using a mixture of mechanical and natural ventilation. Other applications include assessments of wind pedestrian comfort, structural wind engineering (for buildings and bridges), wind safety for the over-turning of trucks, internal thermal comfort for occupants and machines (data centres) and external emissions flows. Common to each of these areas currently, is the use of wind tunnel tests, which have significant limitations. With the developments in computational power, it is expected that the use of CFD for the built environment will become a complement to and eventual replacement of wind tunnel tests. This is very much an applied research area which is gaining traction with Local Council Planning Applications.

The staff involved in this area are:

  • Dr. Jennifer Keenahan