Effects of upstream two-dimensional hills on design wind loads: A computational approach

  • Bitsuamlak, G. (RWDI Inc.) ;
  • Stathopoulos, T. (Centre for Building Studies, Concordia University) ;
  • Bedard, C. (ETS-Ecole de Technologie Superieure)
  • Received : 2004.06.07
  • Accepted : 2005.12.22
  • Published : 2006.02.25


The paper describes a study about effects of upstream hills on design wind loads using two mathematical approaches: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Artificial Neural Network (NN for short). For this purpose CFD and NN tools have been developed using an object-oriented approach and C++ programming language. The CFD tool consists of solving the Reynolds time-averaged Navier-Stokes equations and $k-{\varepsilon}$ turbulence model using body-fitted nearly-orthogonal coordinate system. Subsequently, design wind load parameters such as speed-up ratio values have been generated for a wide spectrum of two-dimensional hill geometries that includes isolated and multiple steep and shallow hills. Ground roughness effect has also been considered. Such CFD solutions, however, normally require among other things ample computational time, background knowledge and high-capacity hardware. To assist the enduser, an easier, faster and more inexpensive NN model trained with the CFD-generated data is proposed in this paper. Prior to using the CFD data for training purposes, extensive validation work has been carried out by comparing with boundary layer wind tunnel (BLWT) data. The CFD trained NN (CFD-NN) has produced speed-up ratio values for cases such as multiple hills that are not covered by wind design standards such as the Commentaries of the National Building Code of Canada (1995). The CFD-NN results compare well with BLWT data available in literature and the proposed approach requires fewer resources compared to running BLWT experiments.


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