# Wind tunnel test and numerical simulation of wind pressure on a high-rise building

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2 Center, Mianyang, Sichuan Province, P. R. China. The wind tunnel is closed-circuit with a cross section of 3 m high and 4 m wide and a working length of 8 m. Its capacity wind speed is 100 m/s. Fig. 2 shows a photograph of the interference case study in the wind tunnel test. The building model was made of clear perspex. Models of the surrounding buildings (the neighboring buildings and local land topography were in a circular area of radius 500 m from the high-rise building model) were constructed by foam and wooden blocks. The building model was fitted with pressure taps (500 to 590) on the external faces. To obtain a good distribution of pressures, more taps are required in regions of high-pressure gradients, such as corners and the slit opening. These taps will give points of pressure which can then be used to determine the design loads on the cladding. The wind structure modeled in the wind tunnel was based on definitions of a wind structure of category D (center of large city with closely spaced tall buildings) terrain, of the Chinese National Standard Code [1]. The power law exponents of the mean wind speed profile and the turbulence intensity profile are 0.30 and 0.25, respectively. Fig. 3 shows the mean wind speed and longitudinal turbulence of wind model. We tested the model in 16 wind directions at 22.5 increments for a return period of 100 years wind speed (Fig. 4). Fig. 2 Models of the wind tunnel test α : Power-law exponent; I U : Turbulence intensity; Z ref : height at the reference level; Z: height at which wind speed is calculated; U and U ref : mean wind speed at heights of Z and Z ref, respectively Fig. 3 Mean wind speed and turbulence intensity profiles Wind pressure at any point of pressure on the building faces is expressed in the form of a non dimensional pressure coefficient. Mean and root mean square of pressure coefficient at point i ( C pi, mean i, C pi, sd i ) are Fig. 1 View of a high-rise building in the commercial area of Chongqing Municipality, P. R. China C pi, meani and N ( ( Pi P )/ N i= 1 = P P 0, (1) 48 J. Chongqing Univ. Eng. Ed. [ISSN ], 2010, 9(1): 47-53

3 C pi, sdi = N ( Pi P ) ( Cpi, mean ) i P P N 1 i= 1 0 2, (2) where P i is the wind pressure at point i, P 0 is the static reference pressure, P is the hydrostatic test reference point, and N is the total number of samples. Fig. 4 Wind directions and coordinate system The maximum and minimum value of pressure coefficient at point i are C = C + gc, (3a) pi, max i pi, mean i pi, sdi and C = C gc, (3b) pi, min i pi, mean i pi, sdi where the gust factor (g) is 3 [9]. Fig. 5 shows the tunnel test results of mean pressure coefficient distribution on facades of the building for the wind direction of 0.0. The wind tunnel test results show that 1) The positive-mean pressure wind coefficient zone is on the windward face. High values of pressures can be seen on the bottom layers and the center of the middle layers of the windward face. The low values can be noticed close to edges of middle layers and in upper layers. 2) The negative-mean pressures wind coefficients zone is on the leeward face. 3) The negative-mean pressure wind coefficients zone is on the side faces. The largest value of mean pressure coefficients can be seen on edges and corners of side faces, which is mainly adjacent to the windward face due to vortex shedding. They can reach to The low values are distributed on the middle layers. 4) The magnitude of the side wall pressures is higher than that of the leeward wall pressures. 3 Numerical simulation 3.1 Computational domain size The computational domain size depends on two aspects, which are the spatial requirement of fully developed turbulence and the working area. To reduce the requirement of computational resources, in the following study, the inlet and lateral boundaries are 2H (H is the gradient height) away from the nearest building and the outlet boundary is 10H behind the last building. The top boundary is 2H away from the building. H=310 m and one million gird cell were used in the computation of isolated case study. H=600 m and around two million grid cell were used in the computation of interference case study. 3.2 Boundary conditions The inlet boundary conditions are presented as follows z = 10 V( z) V α ( ) ( ), (4) I( z) = 0.15 z/ H = 0.15 z/ 450, (5) k = 3 ( ui z 2 )2, (6) and 3/2 3/4 k μ ε = C, (7) l where V( z ) is the horizontal wind speed at an elevation z; V 10 is the speed at the reference elevation; H = 450 m and the exponent of power law α = 0.3 which are parameters varied with the ground roughness [1]; I( z ) is the turbulence intensity; l is the characteristic length; C μ = 0.09 ; l = 0.07L, in which L is the characteristic size of the building; k is the turbulence kinetic energy; and ε is the turbulent dissipating rate. UDF (userdefined functions) programming was used to simulate in FLUENT 6.2 [10]. J. Chongqing Univ. Eng. Ed. [ISSN ], 2010, 9(1):

4 a Side face Windward face Side face Leeward face 50 J. Chongqing Univ. Eng. Ed. [ISSN ], 2010, 9(1): 47-53

5 b Side face Windward face Side face Leeward face Fig. 5 Values of mean pressure coefficients on facades of the building in a) interference case study, and b) isolated case study J. Chongqing Univ. Eng. Ed. [ISSN ], 2010, 9(1):

6 The boundary conditions of the computational domain volume in the simulation were as follows. The edges and the upper surface of the volume: symmetries; the flow surface of the volume: pressure-outlet; the surfaces of the building models: wall (no-slip) and the smooth surface; the ground surface of the volume: wall (no-slip) and the rough surface; and for simulation the flow near the walls, the non-equilibrium wall function models were adopted. 3.3 Turbulence model of wind flow Wind flow can be regarded as incompressible turbulent flow because the density stratification around the buildings is very weak. The numerical solution of the governing equations, the mass conservation (continuity) equations and the momentum conservation equations (Navier-Stokes), is using a finite volume method, and the discretized equations are solved by means of segregated method. Pressure-velocity coupling uses the SIMPLY algorithm. The solution is based on the second order upwind scheme difference. As the wind flow in the urban area is totally threedimension and complicated, the Realizable k-ε turbulence model is used. Near-wall treatment and nonequilibrium wall function are applied [11]. All the calculations were performed using the commercial CFD code FLUENT 6.2 [12] by high performance computing at the College of Civil Engineering, Chongqing University. Computations were carried out for wind directions at 0.0, 90.0, and for both isolated and interference conditions. Fig. 6 shows the CFD results of wind pressure distribution on facades of the building when the wind direction is 0.0. It can be seen from Fig. 6 that negative pressure zones are on the leeward face, positive pressure zones are on the windward face, and the side faces of the building mostly have negative pressure zones. The CFD results completely agree with the test results in respect to the pressure distribution on the building surfaces, and disagree with the test results in respect to estimating exact values of the pressure. The distribution of maximum positive or negative pressures over the building s surfaces are not agree with the experimental study, which means that CFD in this study is still unable to predict accurate assessment of local pressures on building surfaces. Fig. 7 shows a general view of buildings in the interference CFD study. 4 Conclusions A comparative investigation was carried out on a high-rise building in the commercial area of Chongqing Municipality, P. R. China. The wind tunnel test and numerical simulation with CFD code were carried out. The results show that 1) The wind tunnel test can provide a more accurate assessment of the wind flow around a high-rise building and the resulting pressures, but it is costly and timeconsuming. Fig. 6 Wind pressure/p distributions on facades of the building as the wind direction is 0.0 in a) isolated case study, and b) interference case study 2) The CFD is a powerful tool to provide useful information with details for cladding design against wind pressures. It can be used as an assistant tool for the wind tunnel test study. 3) Using the steady three-dimensional turbulent flow with Realizable k-ε as a turbulence model reasonably agree with the experimental results in respect to distributions of negative and positive pressure on a building s faces. Therefore, it is recommended to use the model to study wind pressure distribution of a highrise building surfaces in the preliminary design. 52 J. Chongqing Univ. Eng. Ed. [ISSN ], 2010, 9(1): 47-53

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