Influence of roof topology on the air distribution and ventilation effectiveness of wind towers

Shazia Ahmed Ameer*, Hassam Nasarullah Chaudhry, Arouge Agha

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)
536 Downloads (Pure)


The performance of wind towers, which depends on external wind speed, is often reduced when still-air conditions prevail. As a solution to this, this research used a combination of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and wind tunnel tests to evaluate the influence of five different roof configurations – flat roof, pitched roof, narrowed roof, curved roof and tilted curved roof – on the ventilation performance of commercial wind towers to identify the potential of accelerating wind passively to enhance natural ventilation within a building's microclimate. This assessment was carried out by analysing the static pressure, supply air velocity, supply flow rate, mean age of air and air change effectiveness which were computed for each model and compared against the CIBSE Environmental Design Guide and ASHRAE 129 set standards. This was followed by the evaluation of supply flow rates under varying wind directions from 0° to 90°. The results revealed that the narrowed roof produced an air change effectiveness of 0.96 and flow rates greater than 10L/s/person when the wind direction was prevalent at 0° and 45°, thus being the only roof that complied with the recommended guidelines. Conclusively, roof design being a strong influential factor upon wind properties is a keystone which, if meticulously designed, can be used to passively enhance the air distribution and ventilation effectiveness of wind towers.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)733-746
Number of pages14
JournalEnergy and Buildings
Early online date5 Sept 2016
Publication statusPublished - 15 Oct 2016


  • CFD
  • Natural ventilation
  • Roof topology
  • Wind tower
  • Wind tunnel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Building and Construction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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