Precise 3D simulations of urban districts make it possible to calculate environmental impact in a very high resolution. VITO relies on CFD technology (Computational Fluid Dynamics) when creating these high quality simulations.

Microscale atmospheric modelling - VITO

Models that zoom in

We are drawing increasingly more on computer models in our efforts to make the environment in which we live more sustainable. These models are developed for a certain scale level: from global to highly local, because some applications make it necessary to zoom in at street, building or industrial site level. VITO is able to achieve this micro scale level thanks to its CFD models.

A detailed 3D model

You could see a CFD model as a virtual lab in which a three-dimensional reproduction of reality appears. In this way, entire streets, areas or sites are replicated. For each point in this area, we calculate relevant units according to time: wind strength, wind direction and temperature, etc. We use these high resolution models to quickly simulate scenarios on a micro scale. They also provide full spatial coverage in 3D, but it is never possible to take measurements at every point.

Model shows air quality

We produced a 3D model of the new urban district in Leuven, which has been built around the Vaartkom district. The new apartments are situated near the ring road, which processes a lot of traffic every day. Our CFD model showed the air quality in various scenarios: when greenery was planted, when anti-noise barriers were erected and when the speed driven was adjusted, etc. Local policy makers have the opportunity to choose the right solution on the basis of the above simulations.

VITO also used a CFD model (new window) to research the effect of urban green spaces on local air quality: in narrow streets with connected buildings, we analysed the spread of particulates and exhaust fumes in situations when greenery was present or absent.

ATMOSYS - Atmospheric modelling Leuven Vaartkom

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