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Computer Simulation Helps Ensure Comfort
March 31, 2006

Engineers at Zibell Willner & Partners (ZWP) were able to substantially improve the ventilation of an exhibition pavilion in order to ensure comfort during summer months without having to provide air conditioning. They used Flovent software from Flomerics Inc. to model the flow of air through the pavilion, and modified the model to solve problems that the simulation identified in the original design.

The pavilion, part of a much larger project, has an arched roof whose height rises from 3.7 meters to 7 meters. The façade is glass from floor to ceiling. Before finalizing the design of the building, ZWP engineers wanted to investigate the capabilities and limits of natural ventilation under both winter and summer conditions. They were particularly concerned about thermal comfort parameters such as air temperature, radiant temperature and air speed in the occupied areas of the building.

The traditional approach to address these concerns would involve performing hand calculations. The problem with this approach is that these calculations do not take the geometry and special features of the building into account. For these reasons, ZWP frequently performs a Flovent simulation as part of the design process. Flovent can calculate and graphically illustrate complete 3D airflow patterns, including velocities and distributions of variables such as pressure and temperature. Engineers are then quickly able to evaluate the performance of alternative equipment configurations.

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