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Computational fluid dynamics

Computational fluid dynamics at Arup applies advanced analysis to solve real-world challenges.

Computational fluid dynamics at Arup applies advanced analysis to solve real-world challenges.

By understanding how gases and fluids move and interact in our environments, Arup’s fluid dynamists help us to design better buildingsproducts and processes.

Fluid dynamists use analytical techniques including advanced computer simulation to bring insight to wide-ranging practical challenges, from fire engineering for skyscrapers to ensuring clean water supply.

Our fluid dynamics applications are as diverse as they are useful – from mapping breezes through city streets down to modelling, at microscopic level, the flow of a drug through a patient’s respiratory system.

Supporting better design

By producing robust predictions about the performance of untested ideas, fluid dynamics can help put design innovation in reach.

Fluid dynamics and building physics, for instance, go hand in hand in helping to make the highest-performance sustainable design ideas affordable and buildable – as in our refurbishment of the Ministry of Finance, the Hague.

Elsewhere, fluid dynamists on high-speed rail projects such as High Speed 1 support tunnel designers, who must design to prevent extreme changes in air pressure when trains pass through tunnels, to safeguard the aural comfort of passengers.

As trains attain untested speeds, computational fluid dynamics (CFD) helps tunnel designers understand aerodynamic flow so that they can produce safe designs without costly prototyping and testing.

Improving liveability

Arup’s fluid dynamics research helps planners worldwide to improve urban environments.

Because we understand how microclimates are influenced by the interactions of buildings, people, airflows and weather, we can give better advice on policy and planning.

Arup used its extensive building design work in Hong Kong’s dense city landscape to develop fluid dynamics methods to map air ventilation in built-up urban areas.

This research is helping urban planners understand the wind corridors in cities that are essential to relieve built-up pollution and the phenomenon of ‘urban heat islands’.

It also helps designers consider how they can achieve optimum wind ventilation in building design – for instance by creating more permeable buildings and introducing cross-ventilating corridors.