Building Simulation

, Volume 11, Issue 3, pp 507–518 | Cite as

Predicting integrated thermal and acoustic performance in naturally ventilated high-rise buildings using CFD and FEM simulation

  • Xiang Yu
  • Qide Zhang
  • Jian Kang
  • Fangsen Cui
Research Article Building Thermal, Lighting, and Acoustics Modeling


The study of ventilation windows for both natural ventilation and noise mitigation has drawn significant attention recently. This paper presents the numerical approaches to analyse the integrated thermal and acoustical performance of ventilation windows, for a residential building in tropical climate which employs double-layer noise mitigation window for natural ventilation. Given a set of outdoor wind conditions, the distributions of indoor flow and temperature fields are simulated using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) model. The thermal comfort is evaluated using statistical Predicted Mean Vote (PMV) method. For the acoustic performance, noise radiation from road traffic is assumed as the noise source, and the sound insulation of building façade is simulated using Finite Element Method (FEM). From the simulation results, it is found that the thermal satisfaction response is closely related to the inlet wind temperature and speed, and the window opening size greatly affects the ventilation performance. From the case study in Singapore, during certain season, day/night time and with sufficient wind flow, the ventilation window can provide enough fresh air, maintain adequate thermal comfort and quiet acoustic environment for the occupants. The numerical approaches presented in this paper are applicable to general window design studies, and the simulation findings can be incorporated into green building planning. The advantages of using simulation approaches are highlighted and their limitations are discussed.


natural ventilation thermal comfort ventilation window sound insulation 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.



This material is based on research/work supported by the Singapore Ministry of National Development and National Research Foundation under L2 NIC award No. L2NICCFP1- 2013-9.


  1. Aflaki A, Mahyuddin N, Mahmoud NA, Baharum MR (2015). A review on natural ventilation applications through building façade components and ventilation openings in tropical climates. Energy and Buildings, 101: 153–162.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. ASHRAE (2007). 62.1.2007, Ventilation for Acceptable Indoor Air Quality. Atlanta, GA: American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers.Google Scholar
  3. Awbi HB (2003). Ventilation of Buildings, 2nd edn. London: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  4. Barclay M, Kang J, Sharples S (2012). Combining noise mapping and ventilation performance for non-domestic buildings in an urban area. Building and Environment, 52: 68–76.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. BCA (2015). Technical guide and requirements. Non-residential Buildings. Building & Construction Authority, Singapore.Google Scholar
  6. Bibby C, Hodgson M (2013). Field measurement of the acoustical and airflow performance of interior natural-ventilation openings and silencers. Building and Environment, 67: 265–273.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Bibby C, Hodgson M (2014). Laboratory measurement of the acoustical and airflow performance of interior natural-ventilation openings and silencers. Applied Acoustics, 82: 15–22.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Bin CK, Lee C (2016). Urban Noise Management in Singapore. In: Proceedings of the 45th International Congress and Exposition of Noise Control Engineering (INTER-NOISE), Hamburg, Germany.Google Scholar
  9. Buratti C, Mariani R, Moretti E (2011). Mean age of air in a naturally ventilated office: Experimental data and simulations. Energy and Buildings, 43: 2021–2027.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Busch J (1992). Thermal responses to the Thai office environment. ASHRAE Transactions, 96(1): 859–872.Google Scholar
  11. de Dear RJ, Leow KG, Foo SC (1991). Thermal comfort in the humid tropics: Field experiments in air conditioned and naturally ventilated buildings in Singapore. International Journal of Biometeorology, 34: 259–265.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. De Salis MHF, Oldham DJ, Sharples S (2002). Noise control strategies for naturally ventilated buildings. Building and Environment, 37: 471–484.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Evola G, Popov V (2006). Computational analysis of wind driven natural ventilation in buildings. Energy and Buildings, 38: 491–501.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fanger PO (1970). Thermal Comfort: Analysis and Applications in Environmental Engineering. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  15. Feustel HE (1999). COMIS—An international multizone air-flow and contaminant transport model. Energy and Buildings, 30: 3–18.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Flaga-Maryanczyk A, Schnotale J, Radon J, Was K (2014). Experimental measurements and CFD simulation of a ground source heat exchanger operating at a cold climate for a passive house ventilation system. Energy and Buildings, 68: 562–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Ford RD, Kerry G (1973). The sound insulation of partially open double glazing. Applied Acoustics, 6: 57–72.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Franke J, Hellsten A, Schlünzen H, Carissimo B (2007). Best practice guideline for the CFD simulation of flows in the urban environment. Finnish Meteorological Institute.Google Scholar
  19. Huang H, Qiu X, Kang J (2011). Active noise attenuation in ventilation windows. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 130: 176–188.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Hurtley C (2009). Night Noise Guidelines for Europe. WHO Regional Office Europe.Google Scholar
  21. ISO (2013). ISO717-1:2013, Acoustics—Rating of sound insulation in buildings and of building elements. Part 1: Airborne sound insulation.Google Scholar
  22. Kang J, Brocklesby MW (2005). Feasibility of applying micro-perforated absorbers in acoustic window systems. Applied Acoustics, 66: 669–689.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Li Y, Li X (2015). Natural ventilation potential of high-rise residential buildings in northern China using coupling thermal and airflow simulations. Building Simulation, 8: 51–64.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Mak CM, Leung WK, Jiang GS (2010). Measurement and prediction of road traffic noise at different building floor levels in Hong Kong. Building Services Engineering Research and Technology, 31: 131–139.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Oldham DJ, Zhao X (1993). Measurement of the sound transmission loss of circular and slit-shaped apertures in rigid walls of finite thickness by intensimetry. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 161: 119–135.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Ramponi R, Blocken B (2012). CFD simulation of cross-ventilation for a generic isolated building: Impact of computational parameters. Building and Environment, 53: 34–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Ray SD, Gong N-W, Glicksman LR, Paradiso JA (2014). Experimental characterization of full-scale naturally ventilated atrium and validation of CFD simulations. Energy and Buildings, 69: 285–291.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Sekhar SC, Goh SE (2011). Thermal comfort and IAQ characteristics of naturally/mechanically ventilated and air-conditioned bedrooms in a hot and humid climate. Building and Environment, 46: 1905–1916.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Singapore (2017). Climate of Singapore. Meteorological Service Singapore.Google Scholar
  30. Sivakumar P, Palanthandalam-Madapusi HJ, Dang TQ (2010). Control of natural ventilation for aerodynamic high-rise buildings. Building Simulation, 3: 311–325.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Søndergaard LS, Olesen HS (2012). Lydmæssig optimering af Russervinduer (Acoustical optimization of Supply Air Windows). Environmental project No. 1417, pp. 17–60.Google Scholar
  32. Tang S-K (2017). A review on natural ventilation-enabling façade noise control devices for congested high-rise cities. Applied Sciences, 7(2): 175.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Tominaga Y, Mochida A, Yoshie R, Kataoka H, Nozu T, Yoshikawa M, Shirasawa T (2008). AIJ guidelines for practical applications of CFD to pedestrian wind environment around buildings. Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, 96: 1749–1761.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Toparlar Y, Blocken B, Vos P, van Heijst GJF, Janssen WD, van Hooff T, Montazeri H, Timmermans HJP (2015). CFD simulation and validation of urban microclimate: A case study for Bergpolder Zuid, Rotterdam. Building and Environment, 83: 79–90.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Trompette N, Barbry J-L, Sgard F, Nelisse H (2009). Sound transmission loss of rectangular and slit-shaped apertures: Experimental results and correlation with a modal model. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America, 125: 31–41.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Wong NH, Feriadi H, Lim PY, Tham KW, Sekhar C, Cheong KW (2002). Thermal comfort evaluation of naturally ventilated public housing in Singapore. Building and Environment, 37: 1267–1277.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Yu X, Lau S-K, Cheng L, Cui F (2017a). A numerical investigation on the sound insulation of ventilation windows. Applied Acoustics, 117: 113–121.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Yu X, Lu Z, Cheng L, Cui F (2017b). On the sound insulation of acoustic metasurface using a sub-structuring approach. Journal of Sound and Vibration, 401: 190–203.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Zhou C, Wang Z, Chen Q, Jiang Y, Pei J (2014). Design optimization and field demonstration of natural ventilation for high-rise residential buildings. Energy and Buildings, 82: 457–465.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Tsinghua University Press and Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute of High Performance ComputingAgency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)SingaporeSingapore
  2. 2.School of ArchitectureUniversity of SheffieldSheffieldUK

Personalised recommendations