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June 2019

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Luma Bendini

Wind effects in urban areas

Every object placed in a city landscape alters the way wind behaves. This happens because solid objects offer resistance to air.

And if there’s an interest in building a city in harmony with the wind, we want to create less friction and make the wind travel as smoothly as possible around the architecture.

Like a sailor, city designers must know the wind and respect its power. Understanding wind effects has never been so important. Why? Because we are building denser cities and higher structures. So, let’s understand the 3 most common Wind Effects in Urban Areas.

 

Downwash Effect

Wind at higher altitudes travels faster than at ground-level. As we build taller and taller buildings, those winds are pushed to ground-level along the smooth façade of the structure.

 

Wake Effect

This wind effect happens on the side that's sheltered from the wind, the leeward side, when a spiraling upward flow creates turbulent wind. This happens because after being separated by the structure, the flow naturally assumes the shape of vortices.

 

Venturi Effect

As we build denser downtowns, buildings act as a funnel, compressing air within open spaces, causing high turbulence between buildings. It’s also important to notice that wind tends to accelerate when encountering corners, especially square edges.

 

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