Project OP6: Investigation of Bushfire-enhanced Wind and its Effects on Buildings

PhD Candidate
Mr. Esmaeel Eftekharian
Chair SupervisorCo-SupervisorCo-Supervisor
  A/Prof. Ming Zhao 
Dr. Yaping He Prof. Kenny KwokA/Prof. Ming Zhao

The main aim of this research is to fundamentally investigate the mechanisms involved in bushfire wind enhancement phenomenon and its effects on buildings.

It is hypothesized that there are two mechanisms contributing to the generation of bushfire-wind enhancement, namely: entrainment and thermal expansion. The predominant influential factors are considered to be: wind velocity, burning rate, heat release rate and the characteristic dimensions of the bushfire and the building. It is also hypothesized that correlations exist to quantify velocity and temperature profile as a function of thermo-fluid non-dimensional groups, namely, Reynolds (Re), Richardson (Ri) and Grashof (Gr) number, respectively accounting for wind, buoyancy and thermal expansion effects. The main objective of this research is to numerically and analytically identify and quantify the relative contribution of each mechanism. This research also aims to quantify the effects of bushfire-wind interaction to predict the consequences in terms of changes in velocity profile and pressure coefficient for known wind strength and bushfire intensity. Once this has been achieved, pressure loads acting on different building configurations will be studied in details to develop correlations between wind load, wind speed, bushfire intensity, building configuration and site terrain.

The models developed in this study can be applied to improve the current version of building standards which do not take into account the effects of bushfire-wind enhancement phenomenon. Improved standards can suggest constructing buildings resistant to major bushfire attacks, yielding huge socio-economic rewards.

Sources of Funding

  • Australian Research Council


  • Esmaeel Eftekharian, Alireza Dastan, Omid Abouali, Javad Meigolinezhad and Goodarz Ahmadi ,2014,“A numerical investigation into performance of two types of jet fans in ventilation of an urban tunnel under traffic jam condition”, Tunneling and Underground Space Technology, Vol.44, PP: 56-67
  • Esmaeel Eftekharian, Omid Abouali and Goodarz Ahmadi. “An improved correlation for pressure drop in a tunnel under traffic jam using CFD” 2015, “Journal of wind engineering and industrial aerodynamics” Vol. 143, pp: 34-41