Overview of pressure coefficient data in building energy simulation and airflow network programs

D. Costola, B.J.E. Blocken, J.L.M. Hensen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

181 Citations (Scopus)
666 Downloads (Pure)


Wind pressure coefficients (Cp) are influenced by a wide range of parameters, including building geometry, facade detailing, position on the facade, the degree of exposure/sheltering, wind speed and wind direction. As it is practically impossible to take into account the full complexity of pressure coefficient variation, Building Energy Simulation (BES) and Air Flow Network (AFN) programs generally incorporate it in a simplified way. This paper provides an overview of pressure coefficient data and the extent to which they are currently implemented in BES-AFN programs. A distinction is made between primary sources of Cp data, such as full-scale measurements, reduced-scale measurements in wind tunnels and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations, and secondary sources, such as databases and analytical models. The comparison between data from secondary sources implemented in BES-AFN programs shows that the Cp values are quite different depending on the source adopted. The two influencing parameters for which these differences are most pronounced are the position on the facade and the degree of exposure/sheltering. The comparison of Cp data from different sources for sheltered buildings shows the largest differences, and data from different sources even present different trends. The paper concludes that quantification of the uncertainty related to such data sources is required to guide future improvements in Cp implementation in BES-AFN programs.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2027-2036
Number of pages10
JournalBuilding and Environment
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2009


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