Environmental Fluid Mechanics

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 109–133 | Cite as

Numerical modeling of turbulent dispersion for wind-driven rain on building facades

  • A. Kubilay
  • D. Derome
  • B. Blocken
  • J. Carmeliet
Original Article


Wind-driven rain (WDR) is one of the most important moisture sources with potential negative effects on the hygrothermal performance and durability of building facades. The impact of WDR on building facades can be understood in a better way by predicting the surface wetting distribution accurately. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations can be used to obtain accurate spatial and temporal information on WDR. In many previous numerical WDR studies, the turbulent dispersion of the raindrops has been neglected. However, it is not clear to what extent this assumption is justified, and to what extent the deviations between the experimental and the numerical results in previous studies can be attributed to the absence of turbulent dispersion in the model. In this paper, an implementation of turbulent dispersion into an Eulerian multiphase model for WDR assessment is proposed. First, CFD WDR simulations are performed for a simplified isolated high-rise building, with and without turbulent dispersion. It is shown that the turbulence intensity field in the vicinity of the building, and correspondingly the turbulence kinetic energy field, has a strong influence on the estimated catch ratio values when turbulent dispersion is taken into account. Next, CFD WDR simulations are made for a monumental tower building, for which experimental data are available. It is shown that taking turbulent dispersion into account reduces the average deviation between simulations and measurements from 24 to 15 %.


Wind-driven rain Buildings Computational fluid dynamics (CFD)  Eulerian multiphase model Turbulent dispersion 



The research was supported through the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNF)—Project no. 135510.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • A. Kubilay
    • 1
    • 2
  • D. Derome
    • 1
    • 2
  • B. Blocken
    • 3
  • J. Carmeliet
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Chair of Building PhysicsSwiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETHZ)ZurichSwitzerland
  2. 2.Laboratory for Building Science and TechnologySwiss Federal Laboratories for Materials Science and Technology (EMPA)DübendorfSwitzerland
  3. 3.Building Physics and ServicesEindhoven University of TechnologyEindhovenThe Netherlands

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