Wind tunnel photo by: Michael Rahmatoulin
Team Texas Germany was given the chance to see first-hand and learn about the significance of aerodynamics in architecture. Doctor Albert Pernpeintner– director chair for Aerodynamics in TU München – led students through the TUM Garching wind tunnel facilities while he intricately explained the concepts employed in performing accurate aerodynamic analyses. Wind tunnels were installed due to the significant difference in time consumption between simulations made in wind tunnels versus simulations made using supercomputers. According to Pernpeintner, it would take five months for supercomputers to simulate one second of wind to the same degree of accuracy and precision to that of the wind tunnel. At the TUM facility, there were three different sizes of wind tunnels, each with a specific purpose for different scales and industries. Various systems were in place to quantitatively measure the aerodynamic environment such as wind velocity and direction. These systems included sticks with strings attached to visualize the eddies formed during a simulation and laser systems that takes snapshots of the conditions.
Trivially enjoyable for the UT architecture students, were the adjustable Lego buildings used to simulate high rise structures through blunt-body testing. Moving forward, Team NexusHaus made a conscious effort to consider ventilation strategies in the design of the affordable housing modules.