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January 2019

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Luma Bendini

Old vs. New: wind effects around 6 iconic buildings

More than 2,000 years of history. Six iconic constructions. Let’s analsze how different structures affect wind behaviour and their surroundings.

Parthenon, Athens

432 BC
Height: 14 m

Modular columns made transport easy and also have great seismic performance properties. The free-standing columns with structural beams are not the first structures of their kind, but it’s definitely a milestone for the construction of open spaces and robust structures.

1-parthenon- athens-cfd-simulation

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque), Istanbul

Year: 1616
Height: 43 m

The tall slender towers are called minarets, and are a trademark for mosque architectures. In Turkey, wind storms are responsible for many cases of minarets’ damages. So, its preservation became a safety issue in many locations. In November 2013, one minaret was discovered to have shifted five centimetres and it was submitted for restoration.

2-blue-mosque-cfd-simulation

City Hall, Stockholm

Year: 1923
Height: 106 meters

Buildings from 30 to 50-metres in height have enough potential to create wind effects such as the Downwash Effect – when the building acts like a funnel, pushing large volumes of wind downwards and creating an uncomfortable area for pedestrians. Standing at more than 100 metres tall and housed in a cold Nordic capital, that’s not a good scenario to face around Stockholm City Hall.

3-city-hall-stockholm-cfd-simulation


St. Mary Axe (The Gherkin), London

Year: 2003
Height: 180 m

The overall cylindrical shape allows for wind to move around the buildings without being forced downwards. The fact that the tower has a larger circumference in the middle, reaching its max diameter at the 16th floor also helps minimise winds at its smaller base.

5-the-gherkin-cfd-simulation

Burj Khalifa, Dubai

Year: 2010
Height: 830 m

The wind force increases as the height of the tower increases. By changing the profile of the building (there are 3 different plane shapes) the boundary layer of wind that is formed around the building is turbulent. The design of the tower confuses the wind force.

6-burj-khalifa-dubai-cfd-simulation


Shanghai Towers, Shanghai

Year: 2014
Height: 632 m

Its twisted form reduces wind loads by 24%, offering significant savings in overall building material. That’s $58 million in savings. Those involved in the development of Shanghai Tower are well known for studying building aerodynamics in order to increase cost efficiency while maintaining comfort and safety.

7-sahnguai-towers-cfd-simulation

Useful links:

An introduction to wind climate assessment

How to perform a wind simulations with Ingrid Cloud

Ingrid Cloud Demo

How accurate is a wind simulations?