Evaluation of RANS turbulence models for simulating wind-induced mean pressures and dispersions around a complex-shaped high-rise building

Xiaoping Liu, Jianlei Niu, Kenny C.S. Kwok

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Re-ingestion of the contaminated exhaust air from the same building is a concern in high-rise residential buildings, and can be serious depending on wind conditions and contaminant source locations. In this paper, we aim to assess the prediction accuracy of three k-e{open} turbulence models, in numerically simulating the wind-induced pressure and indoor-originated air pollutant dispersion around a complex-shaped high-rise building, by comparing with our earlier wind tunnel test results. The building modeled is a typical, 33-story tower-like building consisting of 8-household units on each floor, and 4 semi-open, vertical re-entrant spaces are formed, with opposite household units facing each other in very close proximity. It was found that the predicted surface pressure distributions by the two revised k-e{open} models, namely the renormalized and realizable k-e{open} models agree reasonably with experimental data. However, with regard to the vertical pollutant concentration distribution in the windward re-entrance space, obvious differences were found between the three turbulence models, and the simulation result using the realizable k-e{open} model agreed the best with the experiment. On the other hand, with regard to the vertical pollutant concentration distribution in the re-entrant space oblique to the wind, all the three models gave acceptable predictions at the concentration level above the source location, but severely underestimated the downward dispersion. The effects of modifying the value of the turbulent Schmidt number in the realizable k-e{open} model were also examined for oblique-wind case. It was confirmed that the numerical results, especially the downward dispersion, are quite sensitive to the value of turbulent Schmidt number.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-164
Number of pages14
JournalBuilding Simulation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 17 May 2013


  • air cross-contamination
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • high-rise building
  • pollutant dispersion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Building and Construction
  • Energy (miscellaneous)

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