Types of Models

From the standpoint of experiment purpose, wind tunnel experimental models are typically classified as follows:

1.Environment Model



This experimental model examines the building winds caused by skyscrapers and the impacts on the surroundings. A complete set comes with a “planned building model” of the target building and a disk-shaped “surrounding model” simulating the immediate neighboring structures (buildings, landscape, vegetation, etc.).


The planned building model mainly replicates the parts of the building affecting the wind flow. This includes the ventilation systems inside the building which is not visible from outside.

The detailed surrounding model is replicated combining geographical information, aerial photography as well as information obtained from a diligent field survey. If there are significantly large buildings nearby, the relevant information is also taken into account in the process of designing the surrounding model.

Wind Speed Measurement Points

For installation of the wind speed sensors, the brackets are positioned on the base of the surrounding model and key locations of the building model as required.

2.Wind Pressure Model



This experimental model measures the wind pressure against the building walls and windows. The planned building model be used with or without a surrounding model similar to the environment model.


The planned building model replicates the shape of the entire exterior of the planned building in great detail. When the air permeable material (punching metal, louvers, etc.) is used for the mof the actual building, the model needs to secure the same permeability.

Wind Pressure Measuring Holes

The building model is equipped with wind pressure measuring holes across the entire outer surface. The measuring holes consist of narrow copper pipes embedded in the wall. The pressure fluctuation transmits to the pressure gauges through copper pipes and special tubes (diameter and hardness are specified). The pipes and tubes need to be densely fitted inside the model in proportion to the number of measuring holes. Due to such labour-intensive craftwork, designing, building and establishing the procedure for assembling parts of a model require experienced skilled technicians.

3.Wind Force Model



This experimental model determines the wind load applied to the entire building (measuring the load decomposed to 5-6 component forces). The data are used for structural designing. As with the wind pressure model, the model may be used with or without a surrounding model depending on the case scenarios.


The wind force model needs lightness as well as rigidity due to the nature of the experiment. In order to achieve the requirements for the model, balsa material (lightweight, low-hardness wood) is generally chosen and cell structure is utilized. As the balsa material has fairly difficult nature to put together, skilled techniques is requisite to get this done with no distortion.

4.Vibration Model



This experimental model measures the swinging and vibration (dynamic response characteristics) of the building caused from the wind. As with the wind pressure model, the model may be used with or without a surrounding model.


Similar to the wind force model, the model is built with balsa material. The model is also equipped with fixings to adjust weight and center of gravity of the model .

5.Bridge Model



This is a bridge model for the wind force and vibration experiment.


Compared to building models, bridge models are generally larger; hence achieving both lightness and rigidity of the model becomes more important. Carbon fiber is typically used for the structural material and Japanese cypress wood sheet for the surface. The model has all necessary details replicated to a high standard.

6.Other Experimental Models


What WINDEC Can Offer

The experimental models may look like display models; however, the contents are quite different.

WINDEC offers models which are designed and built specifically for experiments. They meet all key requirements precisely depending on the purpose of each experiment (shape, size, weight, center of gravity, rigidity, surface roughness, air permeability, sight information of the surrounding of the target building, etc.).

Our highly experienced and skilled technicians have a solid understanding of the relationship between the purpose of each experiment and the model. They design and build models based on their extensive knowledge acquired from both engineering theories and their experience. This can certainly help our clients.

In addition, while functionality of the model is our priority, its appearance and texture are also comparable to a display model. (WINDEC also provide display models.) You can rely on WINDEC to produce “highly functional and visually appealing models”.