Wind Analysis

GIA offer High Resolution CFD Wind Analysis, providing a faster, more flexible and potentially more accurate approach

Beetham Tower

Our expert Wind Analysis team translate guidance into design advice, helping you get to planning and beyond.

We provide Wind Microclimate Assessments to test and identify wind flows quickly and cost effectively, using a digital modelling technique known as Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) analysis.

A wind microclimate assessment is used to identify pedestrian comfort and safety at the base of a development, and may be needed for planning on developments as low as 15m tall.

We use CFD to predict a buildings local airflow and quickly highlight any areas of pedestrian or vehicular danger or discomfort.

We can also provide physical wind tunnel testing, and will ensure that whichever method used is the correct one to enable a smooth path through the planning process at maximum cost effectiveness.

With greater density in cities and buildings becoming taller to help meet targets for our growing population, wind microclimate assessments are becoming an essential part of the planning process.

Ultimately our role is to help you create more comfortable urban habitats.

Wind Business Development Director:

Wind Technical Director:

Microclimate Assessments

Our Wind Microclimate packages are suitable from early concept development, through to planning and pre-building sign off: from single building to large scale masterplanning.

We will guide you through the entire process, ensuring all wind planning requirements are met and that any mitigation that is required is sympathetic to the overall design of the scheme.

Early Massing Studies

The application of high resolution CFD modelling early in the design and planning process, (rather than an afterthought), enables our clients to have greater control within their urban developments.

The commercial and innovative mitigation solutions, developed in tune with the building – promotes a more efficient development journey – saving on considerable time and costs.

Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) and Wind Tunnels

There are two main tools wind engineers use to analyse the wind environment around a development. These are: CFD or Wind Tunnels.

The below images compare a CFD and a Wind Tunnel model.

Wind tunnels blow air over scaled models of the development within surroundings. Specialist equipment is used to measure the velocity at discrete locations across the development. Wind tunnels have been used for many years to predict the airflow velocity across a development. It is an established tool in the built environment.

CFD is the digital equivalent of wind tunnels. CFD uses high performing computers to solve complex numerical methods to predict airflow movement. It is widely used across many sectors because of the ability to really understand the cause of aerodynamic features. CFD is also widely used in the built environment to predict the airflow around buildings.

GIA use VU.CITY CAD for the surrounding context which is accurate down to 15cm. This is much more detailed than is possible with a wind tunnel.

The information obtained from a CFD or Wind Tunnel test is combined with weather data to obtain a measure of the Lawson Comfort and Safety criteria.

Outdoor Thermal Comfort

The “feels like” temperature experienced in an outdoor setting will be dependent on the combination of wind chill and solar heating.

We can provide an outdoor thermal comfort study, which combines modelling of both of these to inform on how much of the year any parks, seating, terraces or entrances will be usable.


Good wind microclimate conditions are necessary for creating outstanding public spaces: adverse wind effects can reduce the quality and usability of outdoor areas, and lead to safety concerns in extreme cases.

With the existing tower cluster that makes up the London city skyline, set to grow further, the City of London have published general guidelines for wind microclimate studies, now required as part of the planning application for new development proposals.

City of London Guidelines

Leeds Guidelines

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We undertake the following (but not limited to) scope of services:

  • CFD Assessment
  • Wind Tunnel Testing
  • Early Massing Studies
  • Planning Reports
  • ES Chapters
  • Thermal Comfort Analysis
  • Peer Review

Translating guidance into design advice – helping you throughout the entire development journey.

Wind Business Development Director:

Wind Technical Director:

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