The Answer is Blowing in the Wind

In Toronto, and many other jurisdictions, pedestrian wind studies are required for new developments, as the construction of new buildings (particularly tall buildings) can influence existing wind patterns at grade. To properly assess these wind conditions, the local climate in the vicinity of the development must be established, as large differences in comfort conditions can result based solely on the choice of meteorological data.

This paper presents the results from a case study exploring the differences in wind comfort conditions based on meteorological data in the Greater Toronto Area.  Images of wind comfort conditions around a typical development are provided using both Pearson International Airport and Billy Bishop City Airport meteorological data.  This comparison highlights how wind comfort can vary depending on the meteorological data utilized, with one data set providing more comfortable wind conditions than another.  In this case, Pearson International Airport provides a calmer wind climate than Billy Bishop City Airport.  However, developers, architects, and engineers should take note that the application of meteorological data from Pearson International Airport to all parts of the GTA may not be a valid representation of the actual wind climate.

Authors: Shannon Testart, Bill Waechter, Tahrana Lovlin

Published: 10/10/2014