Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering

Degree Level



Civil Engineering


Selvam, R., Panneer

Committee Member/Reader

Williams, Rodney

Committee Member/Second Reader

Prinz, Gary


Much of the knowledge about building aerodynamics today was obtained from physical testing like wind tunnel testing. Physical testing is time-consuming and very expensive. As a result, computational methods like the finite element method are being explored for use in building aerodynamics. Despite several years of research, there is still not a clear understanding of the peak pressure on buildings due to turbulence. Many of the research thus far has focused on comparing different computational methods. However, much work is needed in understanding the capability of the individual methods. In this work, a two-dimensional finite element program is used to investigate the effects of turbulence on building pressure. The flow around a square was investigated and the pressure at four different locations was monitored. A single sine wave was introduced at the inlet to simulate turbulence within the model. Changes were made to the amplitude of the wave and the wavelength and the variation in pressure was monitored. A comparative study of flow with turbulence and without turbulence was also conducted. Results have shown that in the model without turbulence, there is still pressure variation and the sinusoidal properties of the wave were still developed due to building effects. It was also found that waves of a smaller wavelength and amplitude had more pressure variation and higher peak pressure. A wavelength less than or equal to the building height is considered a small wavelength. The formation and transport of vortices also influence the peak pressures observed. From the results obtained in this study, it was concluded that the pressure variation within the model was due to a combination of the sinusoidal properties of the wave and the formation and transport of vortices around the building.


Finite Element Method, Turbulent flow, Wind Engineering, service learning