Pedestrian Wind Comfort

Large scale buildings can have a significant impact on the local climate, especially in relation to wind velocity. This can, in turn, impact the comfort of pedestrians and other space users at ground level, terraces and balconies.

SRE provides detailed Pedestrian Wind Comfort Assessments to identify any changes a proposed development might make to the local climate. Results, based on the Lawson Comfort Criteria, can assist in quantifying the comfort level for space users. Working closely with architects and other consultants, SRE’s team of highly experienced specialists can suggest changes to the proposed design to minimise local climate impacts.

Today, many urban authorities only grant permission for new high-rise buildings after a Pedestrian Wind Comfort Assessment has been completed. SRE’s in-house specialists can advise developers and planners to ensure all requirements are met when undertaking Pedestrian Wind Comfort Assessments.

Read more about Pedestrian Wind Comfort

The construction of a building inevitably changes the microclimate in its vicinity. Wind speed, wind direction and driving rain are all examples of physical aspects that constitute the outdoor climate, all of which could be significantly impacted by the presence of a building. The extent of this impact depends on the shape, size and orientation of the building, as well as the interaction with surrounding buildings and other obstacles such as trees.

Pedestrian wind comfort refers to the evaluation of the behaviour of wind throughout the built environment to determine its impacts on pedestrians at ground level. Among other things, SRE’s Pedestrian Wind Comfort Assessment takes hourly weather data into consideration to predict the frequencies of wind speeds across the course of a year. If not considered during the planning stages, wind behaviours could prove harmful or dangerous to people in the surrounding areas.

SRE’s Building Physics consultants analyses simulations of the wind microclimate around complex environments of existing surroundings and proposed buildings using Simscale Pacefish software, which implements the transient Lattice Boltzmann Method (LBM). As the built environment extends across the globe and as modern architectural design becomes more complex, Pedestrian Wind Comfort modelling and evaluation is crucial to determine the effect on, and safety of, urban pedestrians.

SRE undertakes further analysis to assess compliance with the Lawson Comfort Criteria (LCC) by carrying out extensive Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) modelling. A number of wind directions are assessed to provide a robust study of the microclimate conditions generated by any proposed development. SRE uses CFD simulations prior to construction and at each application stage to identify mitigation measures to address any major adverse effects. Mitigation measures include trees, localised screens and planters.