flexiblefullpage -
billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial
Currently Reading

3 reasons to apply computational fluid dynamics on your next project

billboard - default
interstitial1 - interstitial

3 reasons to apply computational fluid dynamics on your next project

From right-sizing mechanical systems to understanding the impact of design alternatives, CFD offers a host of benefits for the Building Team. 


By Jason Pfeiffer | February 27, 2014
This CFD model depicts thermal stratification within a conference room to assess
This CFD model depicts thermal stratification within a conference room to assess occupant comfort as an example of how CFD can b

A misperception about computational fluid dynamics is that it is only effective when designing a jet plane, a formula one car, or an outer space rocket. Today, building designers can apply the same basic principles in fluid dynamics tested on these exotic high-flyers to common building airflows. 

Here are three reasons why you might consider CFD for your next building project. 

1. Best guess approach — Although guided by ASHRAE standards, current HVAC specs are usually “best guesses” based on experience with various equipment and designs. Most engineers oversize HVAC units because they just don’t “know” exactly where thermal differentials including cyclic variations, radiant temperature asymmetries, and drafts will happen in an operating building. Using CFD insight, you can right-size HVAC solutions to eliminate redundant equipment and save costs. 

2. BIM modeling is standard  — The widespread adoption of BIM has led to an unprecedented ability to model new designs. Now, engineers and designers routinely run time and light studies, finite element analyses and energy efficiency studies working with the BIM model. The extension of a building model to CFD analysis is not the leap it may have been ten years ago. Now, airflow designers can run through a number of scenarios for ventilation and heating using different strategies inside the actual building model. 

5 benefits of CFD analysis


1. Assess ventilation effectiveness before construction
2. Eliminate equipment redundancy
3. Weigh equipment costs against performance and environmental requirements
4. Substantiate performance claims
5. Locate supply/return for optimal airflow

3. Seeing is believing — CFD analyses produce easy to understand visuals that show the impact of design alternatives, allowing architects to move walls, alter service conduit pathways and change glazing effects—among other things—to improve energy efficiency and occupant comfort. These visuals are crucial in explaining to owners the impact of design changes, airflow strategies and or equipment purchases. When everyone can easily grasp the results of the sophisticated math behind CFD, you can reach agreement more quickly and with a higher level of confidence. 

 

Typically, designers do not have the time, knowledge or technology to perform a CFD analysis. The alternative is to work with outsourced CFD experts to generate the best airflow strategy for your project. The key here is to find the right fit. Make sure your CFD supplier has a demonstrated range of experience with the kind of building you are designing. 

Your CFD partners should recognize precisely how to properly model an environment to reveal key performance insights—thermal stratification and restricted flows, for example. In addition, your CFD consultant should be collaborative—working with the design team to explore options for improvement. 

No matter what kind of project you are designing—a new manufacturing plant, a new residential building or healthcare institution, or a retrofit of a landmark office complex—a proper CFD analysis will save money in initial capital costs and far more over time in building operating and energy costs. As a designer, you can provide your client with a better, less expensive solution. 

About the Author
Jason Pfeiffer is Director CFD Analysis Consulting with IMAGINiT Technologies. He can be reached at jpfeiffer@rand.com.

Related Stories

Giants 400 | Dec 5, 2021

2021 Justice Facility Sector Giants: Top architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. justice facility/public safety sector

Turner Construction, DLR Group, AECOM, and Stantec top BD+C's rankings of the nation's largest architecture, engineering, and construction firms for justice facility/public safety buildings work, including correctional facilities, fire stations, jails, police stations, and prisons, as reported in the 2021 Giants 400 Report.

Giants 400 | Dec 3, 2021

2021 Hotel Sector Giants: Top architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. hospitality sector

Gensler, Jacobs, Suffolk Construction, and WATG top BD+C's rankings of the nation's largest hotel sector architecture, engineering, and construction firms, as reported in the 2021 Giants 400 Report.

Architects | Nov 29, 2021

LRK Names Tony Pellicciotti ‘Managing Principal’ of firm

Pellicciotti is one of LRK’s fourteen principals representing its markets in Memphis, Dallas, Philadelphia, Orlando/Celebration, New Orleans, Baton Rouge, Little Rock, and Princeton.

Architects | Nov 23, 2021

HMC names new Director of Design

James Krueger will oversee design and lead strategies to improve the impact of HMC’s work.

Giants 400 | Nov 20, 2021

2021 Parking Structure Giants: Top architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. parking structure sector

PGAL, PCL Construction, and Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates top BD+C's rankings of the nation's largest parking structure sector architecture, engineering, and construction firms, as reported in the 2021 Giants 400 Report.

Giants 400 | Nov 20, 2021

Top 100 Design-Build Construction Firms for 2021

Clayco, Hensel Phelps, ARCO Construction Companies, Swinerton, and Ryan Companies US top the rankings of the nation's largest design-build construction firms for buildings construction work, according to BD+C's 2021 Giants 400 Report.

Giants 400 | Nov 19, 2021

2021 Cultural Facilities Giants: Top architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. cultural facilities sector

Gensler, AECOM, Buro Happold, and Arup top BD+C's rankings of the nation's largest cultural facilities sector architecture, engineering, and construction firms, as reported in the 2021 Giants 400 Report.

Giants 400 | Nov 19, 2021

2021 Convention Center Sector Giants: Top architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. convention and conference facilities sector

Populous, KPFF, Lendlease, and Turner Construction top BD+C's rankings of the nation's largest convention and conference facilities architecture, engineering, and construction firms, as reported in the 2021 Giants 400 Report.

Giants 400 | Nov 18, 2021

2021 Multifamily Sector Giants: Top architecture, engineering, and construction firms in the U.S. multifamily building sector

Clark Group, Humphreys and Partners, and Kimley-Horn head BD+C's rankings of the nation's largest multifamily building sector architecture, engineering, and construction firms, as reported in the 2021 Giants 400 Report.

Laboratories | Nov 18, 2021

Tapping into the life sciences building boom

Paul Ferro of Form4 Architecture discusses how developers are pivoting to the life sciences sector, and what that means for construction and adaptive reuse.

boombox2 -
native1 -

More In Category




halfpage1 -

Most Popular Content

  1. 2021 Giants 400 Report
  2. Top 150 Architecture Firms for 2019
  3. 13 projects that represent the future of affordable housing
  4. Sagrada Familia completion date pushed back due to coronavirus
  5. Top 160 Architecture Firms 2021

 


Magazine Subscription
Subscribe

Get our Newsletters

Each day, our editors assemble the latest breaking industry news, hottest trends, and most relevant research, delivered to your inbox.

Subscribe

Follow BD+C: