Wind engineering

Example of CFD application : wind impact on buildings.

CFD simulation of tornado wind impact on a sensitive structure


  • Client: private company in the energy sector.

  • Faced with climate drift and the increasing frequency and intensity of severe weather events, sensitive buildings are experiencing increasing risks. Design and safety standards must evolve accordingly.

  • Key physics concepts : turbulence, dynamic pressure, atmospheric boundary layer.
CFD simulation - Wind impact on buildings - Mesh example


  • Determination of the compressive and tensile stresses experienced by a sensitive structure.

  • Modelling of the particularities of a tornado wind: gyratory phenomenon, important pressure and speed gradients.

  • Contribution of CFD compared to a more empirical methodology (Civil Engineering).

Contributions to the project

  • Development of an atmospheric flow model in unidirectional wind.

  • Unidirectional wind simulations for model validation with wind tunnel tests.

  • Development of a tornado wind model.

  • Development of a force and stress analysis methodology.

  • Parametric CFD simulations on several risk sites, for different positions and different tornado intensities.

  • Localization of areas subject to problematic tensile stresses.
CFD simulation with code_saturne - Tornado in urban area
Pressure coefficients on a building

Technical environment

  • Linux and Windows.

  • Programming with Fortran and C++.

  • Meshing with IcemCFD and OpenFOAM.

  • CFD with Code_Saturne.

  • Visualisation with ParaView.

  • HPC cluster, with >1000 processors.