A façade typically represents 30 per cent of the total development cost. The taller and more complex the building becomes, the figures escalate. A key component of the cost is the thickness of glass, framing members and size of brackets – all which are largely dictated by the wind loads that the building is subjected to. Advanced engineering methods should be considered when optimising the façade design for wind loads. These include wind tunnel testing and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).
This method is suitable for most cases, including the design of structures and buildings with low and medium height, as well as facades and exterior shells. (Dynamic effects of wind are equivalent to static loads).
Computational fluid dynamics is a branch of fluid mechanics and a basic numerical method for simulating and estimating flow using algorithms and numerical analysis, and is used in studies such as sidewalk comfort, air pollution distribution in urban environments. Wind flow capture has been used for natural ventilation and also for the effect of wind flow on the characteristics and effective parameters in different buildings. Computational fluid dynamics Ability to model in full dimensions, different geometries, simulate different turbulence currents and also take into account the structure and fluid interaction with less cost and time
This method includes wind tunnel testing or other experimental methods that can be an alternative to the static method. Wind tunnel testing is allowed to determine the wind load on the facade in all types of structures, and if the building has severe irregularities in its three-dimensional form, it is possible to create disturbance effects or create airflow channels around the structure. It is recommended to perform wind tunnel testing to evaluate the forces acting on the facade. This method is the most accurate method of determining the loads due to wind to the structure and facade.