Tall building design exploration : designing for wind resilience

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High-density cities can be considered as a matrix of wind obstacles, comprising buildings of different size and forms, arranged at varying angles with different distances between them. Such cities can suffer from poor ventilation and air quality problems, whilst others are subject to strong wind conditions due to their geographical location or improper urban planning. Further, the design of tall buildings plays an important role in the urban microclimate. Tall buildings design envelopes can affect urban microclimate wind flows by increasing or decreasing the wind flow of the surrounding area. Typically, conventional tall building design methods focus on single-objective design exploration techniques and/or produce a small number of design alternatives that explore wind loading and wind flows. The aim of this research, therefore, is to provide support to planning and building standards authorities to bridge the gap between building code and city design guidelines at the architecture scale and urban scale by developing a computational design method that is able to mitigate the negative impact of wind flow caused by tall building in dense cities. This research extends concepts from generative architectural design into the domain of urban design, focusing on generating a design method to explore the effects of wind load and wind flow caused by tall building envelopes within high-density city fabric. The research presents a novel approach to predicting and providing instantaneous wind pressure data on facades of tall buildings, as well as wind flow data from the surrounding area in early stages of the design process. This performance-based design approach combines building and urban parameters to control the effect of winds on tall buildings at the pedestrian, podium and upper levels of tall buildings. This approach is based on the theoretical foundations of designing for urban resilience, highlighting the different objectives of this approach relative to existing tall building design standards and urban city planning guidelines. This research provides an overview of related formal regulatory requirements of the building scale and urban scale, including buildings codes and city development design guidelines. In addition, performance-based design methods for generating, analysing and exploring buildings are investigated. The dissertation explores existing performance-based tall building design and the development of an architectural and urban design method that focuses on the effects of wind loads on and wind flows around tall buildings.
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