Tall towers influence their local microclimate, from blocking out the sun to creating wind tunnels and pockets where temperatures are noticeably cooler. They are designed to withstand the fierce winds that swirl around their upper reaches, but they also channel them down the length of their facades to the ground, disrupting life below. However, these effects can be mitigated, and that’s exactly what WSP’s microclimate specialists help clients to do.
We use wind modelling to identify any potential issues early on in the design process. By combining 3D computation fluid dynamics modelling to predict the air flows around a building with long-term historical wind data, followed by statistical analysis to determine whether future conditions will exceed accepted thresholds, we can inform the design, ideally in its initial stages. Among other things, this enables identification of the optimal location for the building’s entrance and areas for outdoor seating. Alternatively the effects can be mitigated by planting trees or including features such as wind baffles or screens.