Layout #1 (above)
This model was an early model intended to study general patterns and distances and heights. The elevation above ground facilitates a jet stream at ground level which tends to pull the air current more quickly downward. The taller house creates a wind shadow in relation to the smaller house at these distances, ranging from 2 to 2.3X the height; therefore, a greater distance is observed to be required.
This model was a later model with openings in the houses to simulate open windows and simulated trees at a greater density at the North orientation to block colder winds and less density at the South elevation to permit air flow, yet provide shade during warmer periods.
As an improvement from Layout #1, house distances are increased, ranging from 2.3X to 3.5X the height.
It is observed that the better distance between homes begin beyond the 2.3X distance, which is scaled to approximately 100.' Compared with Layout #1, the open house helps to evenly distribute the airflow, but the density of the trees on the leeward side does obstruct, whereas the lesser density on the windward side permits freer airflow.
This model simulates a residential street layout. The model is shifted at various angles to observe the current from different directions or the wind from different directions according to season. Various phenomena is observed including wind shadows, eddys, and jet streams.
This same model was later modifed to simulate openings in the houses and all the various phenomena reduced signficantly.
© STELLA MARIS ARCHITECTURE LLC │2019
Fluid mapping is a method of studying the aerodynamics of wind through and around a building section in plan or section. A section model is constructed and attached to a transparent surface such as plexiglass and the model is placed on a water table having a thin layer of running water circulate through the model. This layer of water simulates the movement of wind through the building section.
This study was undertaken at a very early stage of information gathering for The Homestead. It was known early on that natural ventilation would be a key passive cooling strategy for the development; therefore, studies examining how wind moves through a site and building would be advantageous. Knowledge obtained from these studies could be applied later to the actual site and building design.