Wind analysis in the early design stage: an empirical study of wind visualisation techniques for architects

Moya Castro, R 2015, Wind analysis in the early design stage: an empirical study of wind visualisation techniques for architects, Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Architecture and Design, RMIT University.


Document type: Thesis
Collection: Theses

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Title Wind analysis in the early design stage: an empirical study of wind visualisation techniques for architects
Author(s) Moya Castro, R
Year 2015
Abstract This research develops a study about wind analysis techniques for rapid wind visualisation in the early design stage. It develops protocols for rapid visualisation and evaluation of wind phenomena around groups of buildings and complex architectural and urban windbreak screen morphologies for feedback into design.

Interaction between wind and buildings produces aerodynamic phenomena, affecting the comfort level of pedestrian areas in urban environments. For this reason, architects have incorporated, in the design process, wind analysis technologies and expert consulting, to anticipate the possible wind effects that could require mitigation measures and even modifications in the final form of a project. In this sense, wind analysis in the earlier stage of the design process is a strategy that allows architects to consider wind in the conceptual designs of a project and to develop more sophisticated strategies to interact with and mitigate wind phenomena.

Examples of the integration of wind visualisation in the early design stage are the CFD-PST (computational fluid dynamics - performance sketch tools), which have been developed to facilitate basic and preliminary wind analyses, conducted by architects, in the first stage of the conceptual design process. Previous research has addressed their impact in the design process and architects' practice (including other analysis and simulation programs) with comparisons between programs and interviews with architects. However, the performance of CFD-PST in resolving the problem of rapid wind visualisation for architects has not been well evaluated in more complex scenarios than those originally proposed, for instance, with multiple buildings or with wind porous architectural screens or in comparison with other techniques such as physical visualisation methods.

The aim of this research is to investigate, through empirical wind visualisation studies and architectural explorations of windbreaks, the CFD-PST and other techniques for rapid wind visualisation, in order to evaluate their efficacy for architects' practice in the early design stage. The results of this research present an evaluation of these wind visualisation technologies as a clear hierarchy of efficacy for rapid feedback, regarding requirements of visualisation complexity and extension of generation process. In addition, the study suggests architectural protocols for rapid visualisation and feedback in design process workflows. Finally, this research examines design rules of aerodynamic features, through rapid wind visualisation, to improve architectural exploration of windbreak design, for outdoor microclimatic control.
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
Institution RMIT University
School, Department or Centre Architecture and Design
Keyword(s) Mini airflow tunnel
Wind mitigation
Wind visualisation
Architectural prototype
Architectural windbreaks
Architectural wind analysis
Microclimatic wind control
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Created: Fri, 04 Sep 2015, 10:15:15 EST by Denise Paciocco
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