Date of Award

Spring 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Applied Science (MASc)


Mechanical Engineering


Marilyn Lightstone




The design, simulation, and analysis of a reference atrium using ComputationalFluid Dynamics (CFD) are presented. Atria geometries can be observed in manybuildings but their understanding from an energy perspective is not fully understood.Due to the many physical phenomena occurring within these atria, it is often difficult toassess the thermal comfort, energy consumption, and functionality of an atrium's design.The scale of an atrium’s structure coupled with dynamic physical phenomena creates acomplex problem to solve. One particular tool that is useful in solving for detailedenergy quantities is CFD. Validation studies have been conducted using previousexperimental atria data to ensure confidence in the predictions. These validation studieswere successful and also provided further insight on turbulence models, glazing systems,HVAC systems, thermal mass, and fluid flow and heat transfer behavior in atriageometries. A design for a reference atrium located in Toronto, Canada was thensimulated for typical summer and winter conditions using various configurations forglazing, solar heat flux, wall materials, occupant load, and HVAC. These simulationsprovide a realistic analysis of the reference atria and conclusions for the behavior of thereference atria are made.

McMaster University Library

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