Ventilation & HVAC

Simulations of heating and ventilation in buildings, known as HVAC simulations in the jargon (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning), are one of the classic applications of CFD. This type of modelling provides invaluable information for the design of any type of building. Firstly, it can be used to validate the sizing of ventilation and heating installations, by finely modelling the phenomena of convection, draught, radiation and pressure drops. In addition, by finely resolving the flow structures, they offer the possibility of analysing locally whether comfort criteria, whether thermal or otherwise, are being met. From a health or safety point of view, it is also possible to study the propagation of gases or particles, and thus assess ambient air quality or the crossing of toxicity thresholds.

This page gives a small example of an application involving the thermo-aerodynamic modelling of a public building.

HVAC simulation of a public building


  • Public building.

  • Comfort criteria to be respected.

  • Health criteria to be respected.

  • Key physics concepts : ventilation, thermal exchanges, particles tracking.
cfd simulation of school - geometry
cfd simulation of school - mesh


  • Temperature and humidity control.

  • Particle residence time control.

  • Impact of students and teachers presence.

Contributions to the project

  • Development of a detailed 3D model.

  • Development of the physical model.

  • Running HVAC simulations.

  • Analysis of the comfort and health criteria.

  • Impact of filling classrooms on air circulation in the building.

  • Validation of natural and mechanical ventilation to be installed.
cfd simulation of school - Temperature field
cfd simulation of school - Streamline

Technical environment

  • Linux and Windows.

  • Meshing with Salome and OpenFOAM.

  • CFD with Code_Saturne.

  • Visualisation with ParaView.

  • Personal computing cluster.