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July 2019

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Luma Bendini

Optimise building design to enhance wind performance

Here are 4 design changes that architects and engineers use to enhance wind performance.

 

Air is by nature a turbulent fluid, changing speed and direction chaotically. When wind encounters a solid object, its path assumes the form of vortices or eddies.

The shape of the object directly influences the magnitude of those vortices. So, optimising the design is an important step to minimising turbulence and controlling wind effects on the structure and its surroundings.

Let’s see 4 design changes that architects and engineers use to enhance wind performance.

 

Corner Modification

Adjusting the edges reduces the width of the wake and can decrease the wind-induced loads from 30% to 60% compared to a traditional square shape. Chamfered, round and recessed corners are powerful design modifications that will even out the air flow and create a better flow path.

 

Corner Modification

 

Tapered and setback configuration

Tapered and setback forms are also used to optimise wind responses. The Burj Khalifa, the tallest building on earth uses both features. Cross sections along the building are made of tapered and setback configurations in a spiral pattern.

It controls the formation of synchronised and organised vortices, minimising lateral forces- keeping the motion of the building within an acceptable range.

 

Taper and set-back configuration

 

Twisted shape and added openings

The twisted shape is a structural modification that has been popularised in recent years. By avoiding simultaneous shedding throughout the height, twisting the form suppresses the dynamic response of tall buildings.

Adding openings to the structure allows air to bleed through the building, which weakens and disrupts vortex formations.