Ever-taller, ever-longer structures, the extreme weather events of our warming world and the energy transition are challenging the way we design for comfort and resilience. We help developers, architects and asset owners to anticipate and respond to these challenges at an asset, district and city scale.

As wind engineers and consultants, we bring together an understanding of the response of different forms and structures to the wind that generates forces. We gain insights from a combination of climate data and physical and numerical models of wind loads, building performance and microclimates to provide practical design advice. Contexts where we design include masterplans, all types of buildings including stadia, and onshore and offshore windfarms.

Before any designs are tested, we identify where any regulatory or performance issues might arise and how designs can evolve to anticipate and mitigate costly reworks. Long after structures are built, we continue post-construction monitoring to understand real life performance of designs, maintaining the value of assets.

How we can help

Our wind engineering consultants and engineers can support you in a number of ways:

Data insights

We work with a full range of tools - numerical, analytical and physical – to visualise, test, simulate and monitor data in intuitive ways that are engaging and accessible to all stakeholders. 

Our 3D visualisation tool Arup Wind, for example, rapidly converts pedestrian comfort wind tunnel data into an interactive map for clients and stakeholders. The local wind speeds measured in the wind tunnel are converted into wind comfort and safety speeds, and visualised through Arup Wind. Taking advantage of 3D gaming engine, Arup Wind gives clients an immediate visual representation of the data, allowing them to interrogate the model of their asset and contextualise the results in the urban fabric. 

Our Wind Fragility Assessment tool provides equally intuitive reports, displaying a heatmap of structural risk to highlight where they are greatest and where investment in resilience will provide most value.

People-centred design

The human experience is a central factor in our work and we look beyond wind comfort to shape the people’s ultimate perception of wind, temperature, precipitation and air quality. 

Using Arup’s pedestrian and crowd simulation software MassMotion, we measure individuals’ comfort and safety in real time as they move in and around structures and environments. That information helps suggest ways to create and manage comfortable microclimates. It also gives planners better insights into the value of their public spaces, matching local conditions to particular uses and activities.

MassMotion imagery
MassMotion is a fundamental tool in our human-centred design approach: combining design expertise and local city knowledge with advanced technology. And we continuously refine the software to ensure it reflects the developing needs of our clients.
Find out more

Sustainable design

Traditionally, concerns for a structure’s ability to withstand wind loads saw the increased use of carbon-intensive materials such as steel or concrete. We are continually researching and developing new design concepts to increase sustainability and resilience of assets.

We use our understanding of the wind effects on buildings to isolate potential impacts and help architects and developers as they look to trim their use of materials. For example, we help designers reduce wind loading, and material requirements, without reducing structural safety by conducting site specific wind climate studies and wind tunnel testing.

Protection and damage

Wind damage can have far reaching consequences. Damaged roof membranes or MEP equipment can lead to water damage. Loss of roof pavers or even the smallest sculptural elements can cascade damage down a façade. Personal safety can be compromised, as can corporate reputations when buildings or environments become seen as unsafe.

Our work not only analyses the causes of wind-induced damage, it can also anticipate issues and identify remedial actions to guard against them. This early, reliable identification protects not just structures and their occupants but all of those using the surrounding environment, and the reputation of the asset owners.

Climate resilience

Windstorms and other natural hazards can have far reaching consequences on the built environment and local communities. Extreme winds can affect the integrity of roof and façade elements or MEP equipment, leading to water damage. The loss of building integrity and performance can cascade damage to the utility infrastructure and nearby properties.  

We understand the importance of building beyond code, to improve the resilience of the built environment and to serve vulnerable communities during and following an extreme event. We promote climate resilience through the prediction of wind and climate-induced damages and identification of remedial actions to guard against them. Together with other industry partners, we have developed resilience-based design guidelines to promote a design practice that can better withstand natural disasters.