CONSELF | Buildings/Construction
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Buildings/Construction

Today, construction industry has to respond to a wide range of new challenges: saving energy, lowering cost, safety and occupant comfort improvement are three of the most important ones. In this context there is a natural demand for innovation, and CFD plays a major role in the game: designers can use virtual simulation to evaluate the impact of their design decisions, that range from location selection to shape details to materials and temperature management aspects.

 

To optimize design before the construction phase starts is the best way to save time and cost. CFD simulations allow to design HVAC equipment and its layout definition, to devise smoke management and evacuation systems to protect building occupants and structures from disaster, to model airflow for occupant comfort and to analyze environmental–structural coupling effects.

 

Civil Engineering is moving towards virtual prototyping at a fast pace. In this context, Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) offers the possibility to design efficient structures and modify them in order to solve malfunctions or improve safety. And it is the cheapest, faster and safer way to do it.

 

The use of numerical simulation in Civil Engineering has not been so common as it is in other industries. Recently, with the availability of modern easy-to-use computational tools and cheaper hardware, it is becoming increasingly prevalent in this field. Most of the buildings are subject to interaction with fluids (water, air, etc), influencing the design in a lot of aspects, as structural, environmental or hydraulic. Numerical simulation leads to optimized designs through the understanding of fluid effects on the structure and making it safer, troubleshooting problems and identifying critical zones.

 

Common application areas of numerical simulation in Civil Engineering are:

 

  • Buildings aerodynamics
  • Occupant/pedestrian comfort
  • Dams, open channels, weirs, spillways design
  • Scour/deposition modeling
  • Fire/smoke/gas dispersion
  • Materials handling
  • HVAC

The study of buildings aerodynamics is nowadays a long-standing  practice, being both parallel and complementary to the common structural design. This analysis allows to:

 

  • Study and compute wind effects on buildings depending on their geometric and spatial configuration
  • Identify ideal location for  buildings, taking into account characteristics of the surrounding environment (soil roughness, presence of trees/barriers)
  • Identify possible formation of downwind vortexes, which could destabilize the shingles
  • Study induced vortexes in gaps between buildings
  • Analyse buildings smoke discharge patterns in order to facilitate air circulation

Nonetheless there is no limitation to the types of structures to be studied. In fact, it is possible to expand the cited studies to Civil Engineering structures such as bridges.

Industrial environments and car parks scenarios are quite relevant cases for fire prevention systems. Also in civil constructions fire-prevention legislation is becoming tighter and tighter.

 

At the same time, building market forces designers to keep costs low. This is the reason why preliminary design via PC simulations are a promising way to deal with these issues.

 

CFD (Computational Fluid Dynamic) software allow to improve overall quality of preliminary design, by avoiding risky situations “a priori” and long and expensive real tests. In fact, behavior of a given building in certain situations is found via a numerical analysis. Recently, legislation have been allowing this type of design procedures, helping designers in similar situations.

Flow through pipes and fluids transport is very common in modern industry world. In order to regulate such systems, valves and pumps are always used. Controlling this type of tools is fundamental when designing and calculating new systems, in order to match customer needs and comfort requirements.

A lot of modern human activities affect environment and, consequently, people health. Beside working on reducing pollutant impact on surrounding context, it is also important to constantly monitor how these pollutants diffuse from their sources and spread into the local area. Pollutant concentration can be simulated in all its configurations: from water pipes to open natural environments arriving to rivers with no limits on the pollutant flow and on the physics.

During last decade, studies related to utilization of renewable energies as wind and water have been growing in importance and have been appearing all around the world.

Different types of machines are typically used in this field, from solar collectors to wind turbines (HAWT and VAWT). Fluid Dynamics studies are often carried out since they allow to:

 

  • Evaluate machine performances and power production
  • Study and compute wind effects on wind turbine blade surface
  • Identify optimal shape of blades (chord length, twist..) in order to optimize performances
  • Analyse causes of performance loss such as tip effects on blade and formation of vortex