World Health Organisation Clinic Sierra Leone, Kenema

Thermal comfort and air flow distribution analysis.

Arup was commissioned by the World Health Organisation (WHO) to assess the thermal comfort and air flow distributions for this naturally ventilated clinic in Kenema, Sierra Leone – a country with one of the most aggressive climates in the world.

We carried out a computer modelling study over a 12 month period to analyse the thermal comfort of the naturally ventilated ward and understand the air movement and velocity within the bedroom space. Shading analysis and risk of overheating was also analysed.

Three analysis tools were proposed to undertake this study - a dynamic thermal model (DTM), a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) model and an animated visualisation of the clinic.

Dynamic thermal model

The DTM was used to analyse the building and its location (including sun path and shading analysis) and to provide a prediction of space temperatures and comfort conditions in the interior spaces.

The output was a solar path diagram, a table of maximum and minimum temperatures, and a ‘number of hours’ exceeded table. From this analysis Arup gained an understanding of comfort conditions throughout the year and the effectiveness of natural ventilation and passive cooling.

Computational fluid dynamics model

A CFD model provided detailed 3D predictions of temperatures and air flow patterns at important times of the year and showed the effect of changes such as wind direction on the façade.

3D animated visualisation

Finally, Arup generated a 3D animation model to provide a ‘walk-through’ of the building that could be used to gain an architectural feel for the finished clinic and the experience of being in the interior spaces.

This was used to market the project to both the WHO and government agencies and to assist in ‘selling’ future projects.