Predicting Local Wind Pressure on Buildings and Developing a System to Control It

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Predicting Local Wind Pressure on Buildings and Developing a System to Control It

The Institute of Technology, Shimizu Corporation, the results of tests using large wind tunnels are being replicated by ultra-large-scale simulations, using a supercomputer called the K Computer. In this way, the researchers are working to develop a new method for detailed prediction of instantaneous maximum local wind pressure acting on building.

"A feature of our research is we use the K Computer to do ultra-large-scale simulations that replicate tests in a giant wind tunnel, which is 100 m long. This makes it possible to analyze accurately the external wind pressure acting on buildings, which couldn’t be predicted until now. It also enables us to visualize in detail the flow field and wind environment around buildings, which couldn’t be done before."

Buildings must be structurally safe, reliable, and comfortable to use. By making the flow field around a building visible in detail, not only can the building’s design be optimized at a higher level, but the flow can be proactively utilized to create an energy-saving urban environment.

"Until now, the basic approach to buildings was simply enabling people to live there safely, without undue concerns, but nowadays, designers consider energy conservation as well. So, on the building claddings, people think about installing heat-insulating glass, using solar energy, and optimizing the building in many other ways. The external surface of a building requires detailed design, so in our research, we’re working to devise methods for accurately predicting wind pressure on external walls, to enable detailed design."

At Shimizu Corporation, the K Computer enables simulations with the same precision as wind tunnel experiments. The results are utilized to design buildings and glass exterior components in detail. The aim is to achieve wind-resistant, safe building designs, minimizing damage to buildings by typhoons and tornadoes.

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