Built Environment Simulation

Understand and optimize the physical behaviour of buildings

Building physics is a multidisciplinary field that focuses on understanding and optimizing the physical behavior of buildings. It encompasses various aspects related to the performance, comfort, and sustainability of structures.

Here are some key components of building physics:

  • Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
  • Daylight Analysis
  • Cleanroom Design
  • Data Center Cooling
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Air flow simulation - HVAC

Comprehensive building physics consulting services and industry-standard simulation software for improving internal and external environments while satisfying the requirements of planning and building design.

Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) is a competitive industry facing constant demand to design more effective equipment at a faster rate. Improvements that address noise reduction, energy efficiency, eco-friendly design and reliability are pivotal.

Today’s construction industry must deliver a new occupant experience that is connected, safe and comfortable while saving energy and minimising operating costs. To address these challenges, industry leaders are deploying simulation to create physics-based digital twins.

Developing heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems to maximize thermal comfort takes into account factors such as room temperature, humidity and expected occupancy, as well as heat loss through doors, windows and walls. Modeling air flow in a building is key to creating the best design of a HVAC system, considering performance, energy efficiency and cost.

When considering Built Environments, our Ansys CFD software capabilities and consulting services can address ventilation challenges within offices, data centres, hospitals, cleanrooms, manufacturing plants, boiler plants, entertainment venues and parking garages.

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HVAC Examples

Simulation allows HVAC designers and engineers

Simulation allows HVAC designers and engineers to analyse the performance of their equipment, or the impact of their design decisions, in a variety of scenarios without having to build physical prototypes. This can include:

  • Visualization of flow distribution and regions of high/low velocity
  • Identification of recirculatory and/or stagnant regions
  • Calculation of pressure drops
  • Temperature and humidity distribution
  • Particulate flow impaction, interception and diffusion
  • Human comfort, including noise control, air quality, thermal comfort and air movement
  • Balancing of air distribution systems
  • Investigation into the introduction of more heat sources to a room, such as increased staff or IT equipment
  • Determination of fan sizes to achieve air change specifications
  • Optimisation of overall system efficiencies

Cleanroom & Hygienic Zone Design – Air Flow Modeling

Cleanrooms to industry specifications are required for both health care and the manufacture of semiconductors, biotechnology, food and other products sensitive to contamination.  We offer dedicated air flow modelling solutions, exploiting the latest simulation techniques to enable rapid design, improved performance and reduced energy consumption.

In the healthcare and electronics industries, process contamination is a primary concern. They manufacture these sensitive products in clean rooms where the concentration of airborne particles is controlled to specified limits, such as BS EN ISO 14644-1. Even in controlled environments, particles are constantly being created and can settle on and contaminate surfaces and products.

Traditional cleanroom and hygienic zone design has relied on historic design rules and experience, with assessment and validation against ISO standards and other regulatory conditions only possible at advanced stages through smoke tests and sensors following mock-up or construction.

As a “virtual smoke test”, air flow modelling enables multiple design iterations to be performed before significant cost or time is incurred, such as evaluating alternative vent and diffuser arrangements.

Furthermore, it provides much more data to assist your design decisions than a smoke test can alone. Indeed, air flow modelling can even be a valuable tool during proposals to give you and your end users confidence in the concepts put forward.

Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) enables air flow within clean environments to be simulated during both concept and detailed design, providing visualisation, insight and guidance into:

  • Dead spots of flow / stagnant zone where particulates or bio-material may settle
  • Air temperatures due to heat sources within the room
  • How to reduce energy consumption and number of air changes required per hour
  • Ventilation design – where to position diffusers and vents
  • Ideal positioning of sensors
  • Comparative flow distribution for smoke test validation

Daylight, Sunlight & Right to Light

Planning authorities often require the study of both daylight and sunlight during the application process, assessing the impact of a new development on its neighbours. Simulation-informed lighting design also contributes to the wellbeing of residents and aids the placement of solar devices, driving growth of sustainable urban environments.

We work closely with associates, architects and developers to create pleasantly day-lit spaces, both in planned and existing buildings through a range of light studies. Throughout the development and planning cycle, these services can support your design decisions regarding the massing of your buildings, window placement and room size to maximise natural light and ensure compliance with guidelines.

While simple tools like the Waldram Diagram can be used for basic assessment, we can also exploit advanced simulation technology to achieve greater accuracy and clearer visualisation of lit areas.

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Daylight and sunlight

Data Centre Cooling

As computing and power requirements increase, data centres face the challenge of maintaining environmental temperature stability while minimising energy usage. We have experience in helping centres investigate and propose new cooling and ventilation strategies when expanding or refitting their equipment within fixed spatial constraints.

As Ansys and Flownex partners, our expertise in both 1D and 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) enables us to consider data centre environments at both compartmental and systems levels, to help you improve your Power Usage Effectiveness (PUE).

System-Level Thermal Management Analysis to Develop More Efficient and Robust Cooling Solutions

Flownex is ideal for analysis and optimization of data centre thermal management systems. Applications include:

  • Thermal Management Systems
  • Heat Recovery Systems
  • Waste Heat Power Generation
  • Co-Simulation with 3D CFD.
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Resources – Simulation

View all Simulation resources

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Digital transformation is everything. Get it right! Talk to us. Our team is on hand to answer your questions.

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