At BRE, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) is used routinely to study a diverse range of applications. These include predictions for indoor airflow within buildings, tunnels, aircraft etc, and the transport of smoke and heat in the event of fire.

We have significant expertise in fire safety engineering applications, and have developed our own programme: JASMINE.

CFD is also used as a complimentary tool to the wind tunnel for ventilation studies.

The accuracy of the numerical (CFD) solution depends not only on the resolution of the spatial and temporal discretisation schemes, but also on the treatment of various physical phenomena that can be represented only approximately in the mathematical model. Of these, the treatment of turbulence is often the most important in respect of the accuracy of the predictions. This applies particularly in wind engineering where the wide ranges of turbulent length and time scales, and the importance of gust conditions, means that great care has to be taken in the application of CFD and the interpretation of the results.

There are still important issues in terms of the accuracy of CFD compared to wind tunnel measurements. BRE is currently studying the relative merits and accuracy of the wind tunnel and CFD (RANS) approaches to wind engineering, and the findings will be published later this year.

For further information, please call BRE Environment on 01923 664500.