The development, De Zaanse Helden, supports the Municipality of Zaandam in the Netherlands in its ambition of building at least 1,000 new homes every year. The project consists of 10 buildings offering a mixture of owner-occupied and rental properties suitable for people of all ages and life stages.

Wind investigations included impact on historic windmill

One of the most important aspects of the project was a nearby windmill. Windmills are important historic monuments in the Netherlands and are protected to avoid undue disruption to their wind catchment. Our clients therefore needed analysis of the impact of the buildings on the 300 year old windmill’s operations before building permission would be granted. The results from our experts showed some disruption but no effect on the prevailing wind direction. The municipality carefully analysed our research and permission was granted for the development to proceed.

A single digital model supports the impact on the windmill together with wind risk analysis through each phase of the development

The developers, Stebru and Impact Vastgoed, contracted Royal HaskoningDHV Advanced Technology and Research Centre to carry out a wind comfort risk analysis for the structures in a digital windtunnel. This is a requirement for all new buildings above 30m in height as stated by the Dutch standard NEN8100. It is particularly important when a number of towers are close to each other to avoid the possibility of increased wind speeds from a bottleneck effect. 

The developers benefited from our digital tools to model the structure and wind currents. As the project progressed through various stages and new towers added, the original digital model could be adapted and updated. Our clients were also able to explore the impact on wind comfort of design alternatives such as a pedestrian bridge over the street. With our advice on the optimal siting of trees, shrubs and seating, they could maximise the comfort of residents in the gardens.

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