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  /  Article   /  Wind Effect as a Design Factor; Part II
wind effect on archiecture

Wind Effect as a Design Factor; Part II

Even though the effects of fluctuating wind influence the urban and architectural design, and reciprocally, the specific distribution of buildings and their shape alter the wind flow, this dynamic natural element is still not an integral part of architectural designing. While the wind-based form-finding is a standard in industrial design, the potential of incorporating the wind fluxes to design loop is still being discovered in architecture. Wind flow pattern, wind pressure on building surfaces, as well as overall outdoor or indoor wind-related comfort, could be controlled, and ultimately enhanced, using architecture.

Designing with and for the natural environment requires a suitable approach that would efficiently synthesize individual design skills and computer-based capabilities in the design process. Digital modeling can be used to create, verify, or change the interactions between architecture and its environment, and, entwined with the creativity and knowledge of the architect, this leads to an environmentally responsive architectural design approach. The benefit of utilizing digital tools and simulations is the direct integration of environmental constraints into the simulations and the identification of their effects on buildings already in the preliminary design stage. Admittedly, ever since computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations are accessible to architects, the complex relations of the wind phenomenon in the architectural context have been perceived differently, and the idea of wind-related design has been contemplated and studied. Presently, the research focuses on turning the unfavorable wind effects into a benefit. Examples include enhancing natural ventilation, ideas about reducing wind loads using optimized streamlined building shapes, using the wind to disperse pollutants, or harvesting wind energy.

Wind effects on architcture

The integration of the wind element into the morphogenesis of architecture can influence the building configuration, as well as their shape. Furthermore, exposed to the wind effects, such architecture could eventually morph real-time in the wind, creating a dynamic part of the surrounding nature. The principle of environment-adaptive envelopes can be based either in the geometric properties of the reconfigurable system, or material-embedded properties, or both. The configuration of tensegrity structural systems enables geometry-based adaptation. The examples include actively controlled tensegrity girder, deployable tensegrity bridge structure, or actively controlled adaptive truss. All of the mentioned examples require additional computer-controlled actuation. Material-embedded attributes enabling the adaptation are usually used along with the geometric properties. Climatic responsiveness of such systems is smooth, caused only by natural forces. In the era of the changing climate, when over-heating of buildings becomes a common problem, heat-responsive bi-material composite stripes could be an idea for passive shading systems. Bioinspired, pneumatically activated, foldable “Flectofold” made of glass fiber is investigated for the same purposes. Elastic materials applied to a tensegrity-based skeleton create a form-changing shading system applicable to building skins. The hygroscopic properties of wood composites are utilized for passive shape change of adaptive roof cladding systems. The conventional perception of architecture is changing, creating a space for reconfigurable, “living” buildings and therefore a synergic relation with the surrounding environment.


From: Hybrid design method for wind-adaptive architecture/ Lenka Kabošová , Isak Foged , Stanislav Kmeť and Dušan Katunský

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