Ten questions concerning modeling of wind-driven rain in the built environment

D. Derome, A. Kubilay, T. Defraeye, B. Blocken, J. Carmeliet

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)
82 Downloads (Pure)


Wind-driven rain (WDR) in the built environment is a complex multiscale phenomenon. Wind flows in complex urban environment and rain events of various intensities may lead to very different rain deposition distributions within the city. Proper modelling of WDR is required as moisture is a main cause of material degradation in the built environment but also as understanding the water cycle in the urban environment is essential to provide solutions for the urban heat island, amongst others. What are the main aspects to be taken into account to predict wind-driven rain? How should such aspects be considered and modeled? Is it possible and relevant to predict in detail the moisture loads due to rain in complex systems as cities? This paper answers these questions from a multiscale perspective combining modeling and experimental work. The different scales relevant for accurate estimation of wind-driven rain in the built
environment are presented. Rain deposition on complex geometries can be modeled by CFD, taking into account turbulent dispersion. Such modeling provides the impact velocity and angle of attack for each droplet size at any location on the urban surfaces. Using this information and the structure of the surface, the fate of the rain droplets can be predicted, namely whether it splashes, bounces or simple spreads.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)495-506
Number of pages12
JournalBuilding and Environment
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2017


  • wind-driven rain
  • building engineering
  • building aerodynamics
  • wind engineering
  • wind
  • computational fluid dynamics
  • Wind-driven rain
  • Porous materials
  • Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)
  • Droplet fate
  • Built environment
  • WDR catch ratio
  • Droplet trajectory


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