The team assisted the developer, the architect and the engineering team in proposing and fine-tuning a proposed development of a large commercial centre with a large plaza space surrounded by multi-level shops interspersed with entrances at the ground floor. EAG investigated the effect of wind flow, natural ventilation and thermal comfort of covered atria. CFD simulation was used to estimate the airflow and the thermal effect in the covered atria. Due to the ratio of covered roof – height of building and lack of openings, there is a limitation of cooling effect through natural ventilation as hot air is gradually trapped. More openings at the top will allow hot air to be exhausted out through natural stack effect and to a limited extent, wind driven ventilation.
This will assist the building to breathe due to lack of large openings for significant airflow at the ground level. An improved solution was proposed – an improved architectural cross –section of the roof to reduce ingress of solar radiation, wind induced cross ventilation to offset the trapped heat in the covered space. This will make the covered atria more meaningful for commercial and public activities particularly with large crowds – and yet energy efficient.