Building Simulation: An International Journal

Article Title

On the effects of urban-like intersections on ventilation and pollutant dispersion


urban-like intersections, ventilation efficiency, CFD simulations, traffic-related pollutants


Focusing on the effect of street morphology on the ventilation efficiency, this paper presents 3D computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations of airflow and pollutant dispersion within urban-like three-way intersections, four-way intersections and roundabouts. The steady-state Reynolds-averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) kε turbulence model is adopted and eight directions of the approaching wind are considered. The ventilation efficiency is evaluated using the ventilation indices purging flow rate (PFR) and the net escape velocity (NEV). Results show the sensitivity of the ventilation efficiency to the type of intersection, to the wind direction and to the number of branches. Specifically, the ventilation efficiency of the investigated three-way intersections is found to be better than that of the other intersections, especially when the angle between the streets is large, while that of roundabouts is also considerable, even with a similar average wind velocity, among the cases evaluated in this paper. Further, the influence of the wind direction for the three-way and four-way intersections is greater than that on roundabouts. Studies on the ventilation efficiency at urban intersections are not common in the literature and this work may help urban planners to better design such hub nodes of urban traffic, where traffic-related pollutants are not easily dispersed, thus avoiding harm to the health of pedestrians and surrounding residents.