Sustainable Design using Computational Fluid Dynamics in the Built Environment – A Case Study


  • Jennifer Keenahan Project Engineer, Arup, Ireland
  • Reamonn MacReamoinn
  • Cristina Paduano



Built Environment, Computational Fluid Dynamics, Pedestrian Comfort, Wind, Wind Tunnel Test.


In recent years, end users have become more concerned with the human experience and the personal comfort of the individual is becoming more important in the design of the built environment. Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a tool that permits assessment of personal comfort. CFD is a stream of fluid mechanics that utilises numerical methods to analyse and solve problems involving fluid flows. While research applications of CFD are developing, as is the use of CFD in the aerospace and Formula1 industries, the use of CFD in Civil Engineering applications is currently at the cutting edge. This paper will investigate the use of computational fluid dynamics as a complementary approach to wind tunnel testing for pedestrian comfort. The results showcased here were determined through a consultancy project by the team at Arup, Dublin. On determining potential wind problems, mitigation measures were proposed and tested in CFD to prove that the mitigation measures were effective. These proposed changes were incorporated into the final design and as a result planning permission was awarded for the development. This work is exemplar of how, from the very conception of the project design, new technological advances lead to a better built and sustainable environment for all.


Author Biography

Jennifer Keenahan, Project Engineer, Arup, Ireland

Project Engineer,

CFD Modelling and Bridge Engineering,

Arup, Ireland