Vijay Mali
4 Posts
Posted on : 16-May-2019 03:28 PM

Pedestrian Comfort Analysis

A concern towards the quality of life in an urban environment has increased in recent years. For architects, urban planners and designers, outdoor comfort and safety are one of the important design aspects due to its direct relation with quality of urban life.

The construction of a building inevitably changes the microclimate in its vicinity. Near high-rise buildings, high wind velocities are often introduced at a pedestrian level that can be experienced as uncomfortable or even dangerous. Even if the overall wind conditions are favorable for pedestrian activities, the introduction of building restricts the wind movement which leads to different wind conditions around the building. Therefore, pedestrian-level wind conditions are one of the first microclimatic issues to be considered in modern city planning and building design. Pedestrian comfort analysis is the study of wind conditions around the building for different pedestrian activities.

Conducting a pedestrian comfort analysis in an urban environment is a multi-fold problem. It consists of combining a statistical meteorological data with building aerodynamic information and comfort criteria. Meteorological data collected from weather condition represents the un-interrupted / un-disturbed wind conditions. Presence of building alters the wind conditions around the building. Building aerodynamic study helps to understand the modification in wind conditions due to the presence of the building. These modified conditions are then evaluated for different pedestrian activities to evaluate pedestrian comfort conditions.

What is Pedestrian Comfort Analysis (PCA) app?

In a traditional way, pedestrian comfort analysis using CFD involves the following process:

  1. Create a building mass model, creating CFD domain around building and creating a CFD mesh
  2. Getting average weather conditions from near-by weather station
  3. Conducting CFD analysis for number of direction (between 8 to 32)
  4. Scaling these directional CFD results for individual wind condition from weather station
  5. Combining the scaled results with selected comfort criteria
  6. Creating a comfort criteria plot at pedestrian height

The process needs CFD expertise, its compute-intensive and typically takes days to complete.

Pedestrian Comfort Analysis app helps architects, urban planners, and environmental engineers to evaluate the pedestrian comfort with ease. The app only needs a building mass model as an input from a user. The site location can be provided simply by clicking on the integrated map and the weather data is automatically extracted based on the location. A comfort criterion can be selected from a number of comfort criteria provided in the app. The solution accuracy can the changed anywhere between coarse (4 wind directions) to finest (32 wind directions) accuracy.

All CFD computations are done using cloud computing. The app does not need any high-end local machine and even can be used from mobile / tablet devices. Once the setup is submitted from computation, ready-to-use pedestrian comfort analysis PDF report is generated within hours. The report includes all setup information, comfort plot indicating different comfort conditions and more detailed CFD results.

The getting started guide contains details about how to do pedestrian comfort analysis using PCA app. For more details refer to :

Getting started guide

Thanks

Vijay

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