Towards a strategy to model runoff of wind-driven rain on building facades

Today I gave a seminar at our research group reporting the progress in my phd on runoff of wind-driven rain on porous building materials. The main focus of the presentation was on the experimental work I conducted in 2013 with a little wink to the simulation work I’m doing now with OpenFOAM. The latter however is still a marvellous discovery of the power of OpenFOAM at the moment, but results are expected soon. Below you can find the abstract and presentation of the seminar.

Figure 1: Experimental setup for measuring WDR and runoff on an medium-rise building.
Figure 1: Experimental setup for measuring WDR and runoff on an medium-rise building.

Damage in historical buildings is often moisture related and affects the building envelope as well as valuable objects in the indoor environment. A correct assessment of the damage risk requires reliable simulation tools to predict the moisture load on facades. This can only be done by simultaneously studying the moisture balance of the indoor and outdoor environment and the hygrothermal behaviour of the building envelope.

This research focuses on the influence of wind-driven rain (WDR) on the moisture uptake and transport to the inside environment and takes into account the effects of runoff of WDR on the moisture uptake and evaporation. To do so, a strategy is developed that consists of two models: a computational fluid dynamics model that uses an Eulerian multiphase approach to determine the spatial and temporary distribution of the WDR and a state-of-the-art Heat-Air-Moisture (HAM) model that uses this distribution as a boundary condition to simulate the moisture response of the wall and the runoff flow on the wall.

In order to validate the developed strategy, an experimental setup was build that is able to quantify the WDR load and runoff rate on a medium rise building (Figure 1). The results of this experimental campaign (late summer – early autumn 2013) will be compared with the predicted results of the models.

date: Januari 8th, 2014: 15h-16h
supervisors: prof. S. Roels (KU Leuven) and prof. B. Blocken (TU Eindhoven)

PhD seminars: Rainwater runoff on porous building materials from Thijs Van den Brande

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