Accessible Simulation Technology
Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) has been used in Architecture and Building Services for many years to simulate phenomena such as wind patterns around buildings, efficiency of heating and cooling schemes and dispersal of particulates and pollution in closed environments. Historically, this was performed by expert analysis users employing complex software applications on expensive computer infrastructure, but this needs no longer be the case.
What is it?
scSTREAM has been developed in Japan to make this simulation technology accessible to more users within the AEC industry. It has a wizard-driven interface making it easy to set up your design in model space. Meshing is semi-automatic and is easily adapted. The software requires lower memory and fewer processors than standard commercial CFD codes. This means that non-expert users can achieve meaningful results rapidly to aid design decisions early in the cycle – where changes can be made more easily.
Some examples where scSTREAM has been used recently:
Wind Flow around buildings
High rise communities are subject to the intricacies of wind change. They can be subject to, as well as generate, strong winds. The wind environment should be analysed prior to construction since making changes after construction is very difficult and costly. scSTREAM can simulate accurate geometries by importing the numerical map (GIS format) for a specific building as well as the surrounding buildings. As an example of the ease of use of scSTREAM the following video shows a simple example of setting up a wind flow simulation.
Internal Air Flow
scSTREAM can be used to evaluate HVAC performance within a room in a house, office, or any large interior space. This fluid analysis calculates the distribution of the air velocity and temperature throughout the design space. This enables calculation of exact numerical values within any specific area. This is much more precise than the conventional thermal loading calculation. CFD enables inclusion/calculation of gas concentrations, solar radiation effects and dew condensation. scSTREAM is also often used for analysing clean room designs which require precise air control.
In a cleanroom, the number of floating particulates in the space is maintained below a certain level. Temperature, humidity, and pressure are also regulated. Using scSTREAM, it is possible to create models of particulates represented in diffusive species or particles and predict how air contaminants distribute and behave in the space.
CFD can be used for determining exhaust fan location and arrangement in an underground parking area for example. For complex parking area configurations, it is especially important to avoid accumulated gas flow. scSTREAM generates an index value to quantify ventilation efficiency. In addition to standard computations of gas flow and gas concentration, the user can also easily determine the differences in efficiency for various fan arrangements and levels of performance.
scSTREAM for CFD
Thermo-fluid simulation software and optional tools that suit various industries and objectives
Understanding CFD in AEC
Brief introduction to Computational Fluid Dynamics and how it can be applied to building design.