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Case study: demonstrating CFD accuracy over codes

This case study illustrates, through a validated benchmark analysis, how Codes tend to oversimplify load calculation parameters, leading to overestimated results when compared to the precision of CFD calculations.

Studio Marzullo, an architectural and engineering firm in Rome, was tasked with redesigning the roof of a pavilion at Fiera Milano. Their goal was to assess the impact of installing approximately one thousand solar panels.

The initial load calculation, based on the Euro Code, returned a load estimate of 560 tons.

Subsequently, in close collaboration with the designer, VENTO AEC was used to develop four increasingly accurate models compared to the initial calculation.

Figure 1 depicts how the load decreased as additional details about the building’s geometry and surrounding conditions were incorporated into the model in these four scenarios.

Remarkably, the variation between the Euro Code-derived load and the CFD-based load in the simplest model can be attributed entirely to the ‘exposure coefficient.’

Following the study, the design based on CFD calculations received approval from the designer and a Third-Party Inspector.