A study of the ventilation and thermal comfort of the environment surrounding a new university building under construction

W. Zhang, Cheuk Ming Mak, Z. T. Ai, W. M. Siu

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of a new building which can impose on its immediate ambient environment, on air movement and thermal comfort of people using the area. The effect of eight prevailing wind directions around the building was simulated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD). The CFD simulation was validated by two wind tunnel experiments. The CFD results were used to conduct an air ventilation assessment using velocity ratio (VR) indicator and to assess thermal comfort by an extended predicted mean vote (PMV) evaluation. An analysis of the relationship of VR and PMV with the to-be-built building (the front area index λf and plan area density λp) was also conducted. The result indicates that the PMV trend was generally opposite to the VR trend. The λp would increase due to the new building and the λf would increase in all wind directions except East-South-East and South-East. There could be a significant change in thermal comfort when the λf became smaller than 12% and a significant change in ventilation efficiency if the λf was smaller or larger than 12%. It means that λf can be used as an urban planning parameter for the thermal comfort study in the natural ventilated urban environment.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-582
Number of pages15
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2012


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Extended PMV model
  • Frontal area index (λf)
  • Thermal comfort
  • Velocity ratio
  • Ventilation performance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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