Because wind and airflow can directly impact building performance, and urban environment safety and comfort, they are important considerations in building design, which require specialist equipment and knowledge to test.

WSP Opus’ Research team covers all disciplines required for full-scale and model studies of wind and air flows, including instrumentation technology, aerodynamics and fluid mechanics, vibration and structural dynamics, and wind tunnel testing.

These services are highly valued for a wide range of applications, including:

  • Wind tunnel testing of buildings and structures at model scale
  • Measurement of wind forces on buildings and structures
  • Design of structures for wind effects
  • The response of structures to wind
  • Wind effects on pedestrians
  • Wind speed over hills
  • Air pollution
  • Full-scale testing of wind effects on structures and components
  • Product evaluation - performance relating to air flow
  • On-site wind speed measurements
  • Vibration monitoring
  • Wind energy

We work closely with architects and engineers throughout the design phase and recommend mitigation strategies where the wind effects are too great. The level of infrastructure growth in New Zealand, especially in Auckland, means the wind tunnel is in constant use.

The tunnel has also been used for unique projects such as:  assessing the strength of novel umbrella designs; and in-field assessments of issues such as jet engine wash at airports.

The team is part of the New Zealand Wind Engineering Research Consortium, which has gained national and international recognition for their efforts in undertaking field studies of wind speeds over complex topography and the monitoring of wind-induced motion of buildings and other wind-sensitive structures. They have presented to numerous international conferences.

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