The effect of wind on building models is reproduced in a boundary layer wind tunnel. This allows for the measurement of mean and fluctuating wind loads on buildings, air flow around tall buildings and around groups of tall buildings, environmental pedestrian level wind studies, and effluent dispersion (contamination of buildings by smoke and building exhaust from stacks). Computational evaluation of wind effects on buildings is also carried out.
The Laboratory houses a large atmospheric boundary-layer wind tunnel, the only one of this type in Québec, Canada, to study wind-building interaction. By using advanced measurement equipment and numerical simulation, research and consulting projects can be carried out in a wide range of fields such as the following:
- Wind Loads on the Building Envelope (Mean and fluctuating wind pressures; Codification of wind loads)
- Wind Loads on Building Attachments (e.g. BIPVs, Canopies and Patio Covers, Parapets)
- Air Pollution (Effluent dispersion around buildings; Re-ingestion pollutants from building exhausts)
- Air infiltration through building envelope Urban Microclimate (Pedestrian level winds; Outdoor human comfort; Wind-drifted snow accumulation)
- Wind-Tunnel Measurement Techniques and Flow Visualization
- Computer-aided Wind Engineering (Applications of knowledge-based systems and neural networks)
- Computational Wind Engineering (Numerical evaluation of air velocity field, wind pressures, and pollutant dispersion)
Research activities and consulting projects are supported by the following facilities:
- Boundary-Layer Wind Tunnel: an open-circuit, blowdown tunnel (12m long, 1.8m wide, and 1.8m high). The maximum air speed at the test section of the tunnel is about 14.0 m/s and varies in the range of 4.7 to 14.0 m/s. A turntable is set at the test section so that the influence of wind direction is taken into account during model testing. Wind profiles over urban, suburban, and open terrains can be simulated at a geometric scale of 1/400 ~ 1/500.
- Water Flume: a closed-circuit channel (3.0m long and 0.75m wide) used to visualize the flow around buildings and to investigate snow drifting / accumulation problems associated with buildings.
- Wind Flow Visualization Tunnel: an open-circuit wind tunnel with a length of 4m and a cross section of 0.25m x 0.25m. Smoke is used for flow visualization around building models of various configurations. It is used primarily for teaching purposes.
- Full-Scale Experimental Station: a small building at the Loyola campus of Concordia University equipped with a weather station, pressure transducers, devices to release and to sample air pollutants, as well as a data logger with a modem for telecommunication.
- Air Infiltration Chamber: two airtight boxes separated by the test wall section (1m x 1m) where thermal and mass exchanges through the test section can be controlled and measured.
Instrumentation of the laboratory includes among others:
- Laser Doppler Anemometer and Thermal Anemometers for measurements of wind velocity and turbulence.
- Multi-hole pressure probes for 3-component air velocity measurements (Cobra probes).
- Particle-Image-Velocimetry (PIV)
- Scanivalve-transducer System for multi-channel instantaneous wind pressure measurements (ZOC-512 channels).
- Gas Chromatograph for measuring concentration of air pollutants.
- Infrared Video Camera for detecting wind-induced surface temperature variation.
- Three-Dimensional Traverse System.
- Advanced Electronic and Computer Systems for data acquisition, processing, and presentation.