A combined CFD–HAM approach for wind-driven rain on building facades

B.J.E. Blocken, S. Roels, J.E. Carmeliet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

61 Citations (Scopus)


Numerical heat–air–moisture (HAM) transfer models are increasingly being used to study the hygrothermal performance and the durability of building facades. One of the most important boundary conditions for HAM simulations is wind-driven rain (WDR). Due to the complexity of WDR, however, the current HAM models generally incorporate it in a very simplified way. Recent research has shown that CFD can provide quite accurate estimates of the spatial and temporal distribution of WDR on building facades. Therefore, in this paper, a combined CFD–HAM approach is presented. It consists of implementing catch-ratio charts resulting from CFD simulations into the HAM model. Within the model, these charts are used to convert the standard meteorological input data (wind speed, wind direction and horizontal rainfall intensity) into WDR distribution records that are used as boundary condition for the actual HAM simulations. The combined approach is demonstrated for a simplified wall model. It is shown that the accuracy of the HAM-simulation results is to a large extent determined by the time resolution of the meteorological input data and by the data-averaging technique used for these data. Some important guidelines for accurate HAM analyses with WDR are provided.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)585-607
Number of pages23
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 2007


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