Optimization of Hong Kong residential building design guidelines to improve urban air ventilation

  • YEAR
    Thilakaratne, Ruffina
    Chu, Paul
    Xiao, Yana
    2016 Conference Papers
    Architectural Science, Landscape and Urban Design
    Conference Papers


Stagnant ventilation levels below 2 m/s is a common phenomenon in most urban areas in Hong Kong. Increasing urban development has demonstrated impacts on pedestrian wind environments. ‘Hyper podium & tower’ typology that consists of a 15 m high podium has further impacted on pedestrian zone wind speed. This study investigates impacts created by the ‘hyper podium & tower’ typology on pedestrian wind speed and the contribution from proposed design modifications in improving wind speed. Using computational fluid dynamics ANSYS Fluent, this study developed ten-year interval wind profiles from 1960 to 2015 and three-year interval wind profiles from 1997-2015. Findings indicate, 0.7 m/s reduction in wind velocity from 1960-1990 in relation to the reduction in urban porosity from 51% to 6.1%. A drastic drop of 0.4 m/s in the wind speed is noticeable from 1990-2000, which may be attributed to the ‘hyper podium & tower’ developments introduced in the mid 1990s. Improvements in the pedestrian wind velocity was evident with the of 30% void and individual tower options compared to other design modifications. Building geometries such as individual towers and large podiums reported significant differences in wind behaviour around these developments. Findings from wind behaviour around 55m and 110m tall towers advocate the sustainability of taller towers with more urban porosity. Findings from this study calls for a review of ‘hyper podium & tower’ typology.


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