Facilities and Resources

Our wholly-owned and fully in-house facility enables us to achieve the highest level of quality control while maintaining timely responsiveness. We have the capacity to undertake a broad variety of experiments and testing related to wind engineering, structural vibrations, and acoustic services. Facility features include our wind tunnel laboratory, physical model fabrication, and computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

WIND TUNNEL FACILITY

At Gradient Wind, we perform various tests using physical scale models in simulated atmospheric wind flow generated in our boundary layer wind tunnel facility.

With an overall length of 27 metres and a test section measuring 2.1 metres wide and 1.8 metres tall, our conventional flow-through wind tunnel can accommodate a wide range of physical models. Our wind tunnel is supported by leading-edge instrumentation capable of measuring high-speed mean and fluctuating surface pressures, air velocities, high frequency wind forces, and pollution concentrations, among other quantities.

PHYSICAL MODEL FABRICATION

All of our physical models are fabricated in-house. Digital information in the form of 2D and 3D CAD drawings are used to create 3D computer models, which are converted into physical models by sophisticated milling and rapid prototyping processes using state-of-the-art technology.

Some models, which are not amenable to automatic processes, are handcrafted by skilled Gradient Wind model builders. Our expertise allows us to transform concepts into functional study models quickly and efficiently, which in turn allows us to perform the testing and provide accurate results in a timely fashion.

COMPUTATIONAL FLUID DYNAMICS (CFD)

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) is a computer simulation tool that creates a virtual wind tunnel to predict the motion of fluids around objects. The three-dimensional space around a study building, including its surroundings, is divided into a large number of tiny volume elements. Each element possesses the physical attributes that describe a small section of the flow field.

The problem is fully-defined with the assembly of elements, the definition of boundary conditions, and selection of starting conditions. CFD simulations – for an individual wind direction – generate the desired flow parameters such as pressure, velocity, temperature, and any other specified quantity of interest. Results are presented with various visualization tools, such as contour plots, iso-surfaces, and streamlines to describe the flow characteristics. By taking advantage of state-of-the-art advancements in high speed computing and parallel processing, the CFD technique is a powerful supplement to our physical wind tunnel, which together enable us to solve complex wind flow problems.

CFD has become one of our primary engineering analysis tools. It is a versatile and powerful resource that can be used to solve complex problems related to pedestrian-level wind comfort, snow drifting, and pollution dispersion.