Detached eddy simulation of pedestrian-level wind and gust around an elevated building

Jianlin Liu, Jianlei Niu, Cheuk Ming Mak, Qian Xia

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


The elevated design of a building, as a special feature, proved to improve pedestrian-level weak wind conditions in high-density cities. The present study aims to assess three turbulence models, the detached eddy simulation (DES), the steady-state RANS (SRANS), and the unsteady-state RANS (URANS), in their simulation of the PLW flow turbulence concerning wind gust. The simulated mean wind velocities around isolated buildings with and without an elevated design were compared with those obtained from a wind tunnel experiment. The effects of mesh resolution and inflow fluctuating algorithm on the performance of the DES model were thoroughly evaluated. The DES model can better reproduce the mean flow fields than the other two models. Finally, the unsteady fluctuations of wind flow around the buildings with and without the elevated design are analyzed in terms of instantaneous wind velocity, lift coefficient, energy spectral density, and turbulence intensity. The predicted lift coefficient and Strouhal number are approximately 0.01 and 0.09, respectively, which is consistent with what are reported in the literature. Modifications of the frequency of vortex shedding, periodical wind flow pattern, and the normalized wind gust flow fields around the two types of buildings are compared in detail. The work reveals that transient turbulent flow pattern can be reasonably obtained with the DES model, indicating the potential of using the DES for PLW gust assessments in urban planning.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-179
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2017


  • CFD simulation
  • DES (detached eddy simulation)
  • Elevated building
  • Pedestrian-level wind (PLW)
  • Unsteady-state RANS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Building and Construction


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