Influence of surrounding buildings on wind flow around a building predicted by CFD simulations

Sumei Liu, Wuxuan Pan, Xingwang Zhao, Hao Zhang, Xionglei Cheng, Zhengwei Long, Qingyan Chen

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

73 Citations (Scopus)


This investigation used wind information from a meteorological station to conduct a CFD study of wind distribution in an urban configuration. The study treated the computational domain with detailed building structures only in the proximity of the urban configuration, and treated other regions with roughness. The resulting mean wind velocity was 5.5% higher than that computed with the use of detailed building structures between the meteorological station and the urban configuration, which is acceptable for most applications. This investigation then explored the influence of surrounding buildings on the wind flow around the target building with different geometrical models. The models differed in terms of the geometrical details around the building. The results showed that the surrounding buildings had a considerable impact on the wind flow around the target building due to the sheltering and channeling effect. When the details of the surrounding building structures were not taken into account, the wind flow around the building was inaccurate and unacceptable. The predicted wind speed and pressure distributions improved with an increase in the level of detail of the surrounding building structures. To achieve acceptable results, a CFD simulation should use detailed building structures around the target building within a radius of at least three times the length scale, where the length scale is the largest dimension of the target building. The results of the study can serve as a practical guide for predicting airflow around an urban configuration or a building.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Experimental verification
  • Geometric model
  • Surface roughness
  • Urban wind flow

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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