The new development, called ‘Zaankwartier’, preserves the industrial atmosphere of what had been a hub for the grain industry in the 19th century. Historic buildings dating from those times will be given new life in a neighbourhood which includes social housing as well as shops, restaurants, hotels and workspaces.

Determining the wind climate to ensure comfort and safety

Approval for the Zaankwartier project required a wind investigation in line with the required standard in the Netherlands - NEN8100. This was carried out by Royal HaskoningDHV’s Advanced Technology and Research Centre.

The team focused on two potential impacts of the new development: wind disruption in the immediate environment; and wind flows across the river which is used by small boats and leisure cruisers. “High buildings and narrow paths can create wind risks such as a venturi effect. We needed to check the strength of potential wind flows across all areas of the site as well as the impact on the river,” explains Chiara Witteman-Tesauro, Computational Fluid Dynamics specialist at Royal HaskoningDHV. 

Experience, judgement and in-house expertise 

Wind speeds were assessed using simulations based on digital plans of the project. A second digital model of the industrial site enabled the speed and intensity of cross winds at various heights above the river to be compared before and after development.

“What we bring to these investigations goes beyond pure simulation and draws on our expert judgement about how landscaping features such as plants and trees, or other design interventions can help to increase comfort around high-rise developments,” Chiara adds. “The local environment and activities around the new building play a role in this. For example, strong winds are more likely to be perceived as a nuisance on a terrace than in a parking area.”

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