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Computational Analysis of Natural Ventilation Flows in Geodesic Dome Building in Hot Climates

Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, University of Bath, Bath BA2 7AY, UK
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Demos T. Tsahalis
Computation 2016, 4(3), 31;
Received: 2 May 2016 / Revised: 21 July 2016 / Accepted: 11 August 2016 / Published: 17 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Computational Engineering)
PDF [13331 KB, uploaded 17 August 2016]


For centuries, dome roofs were used in traditional houses in hot regions such as the Middle East and Mediterranean basin due to its thermal advantages, structural benefits and availability of construction materials. This article presents the computational modelling of the wind- and buoyancy-induced ventilation in a geodesic dome building in a hot climate. The airflow and temperature distributions and ventilation flow rates were predicted using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). The three-dimensional Reynolds-Averaged Navier-Stokes (RANS) equations were solved using the CFD tool ANSYS FLUENT15. The standard k-epsilon was used as turbulence model. The modelling was verified using grid sensitivity and flux balance analysis. In order to validate the modelling method used in the current study, additional simulation of a similar domed-roof building was conducted for comparison. For wind-induced ventilation, the dome building was modelled with upper roof vents. For buoyancy-induced ventilation, the geometry was modelled with roof vents and also with two windows open in the lower level. The results showed that using the upper roof openings as a natural ventilation strategy during winter periods is advantageous and could reduce the indoor temperature and also introduce fresh air. The results also revealed that natural ventilation using roof vents cannot satisfy thermal requirements during hot summer periods and complementary cooling solutions should be considered. The analysis showed that buoyancy-induced ventilation model can still generate air movement inside the building during periods with no or very low wind. View Full-Text
Keywords: airflow; buoyancy flow; Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD); indoor; thermal modelling airflow; buoyancy flow; Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD); indoor; thermal modelling

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Soleimani, Z.; Calautit, J.K.; Hughes, B.R. Computational Analysis of Natural Ventilation Flows in Geodesic Dome Building in Hot Climates. Computation 2016, 4, 31.

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