Improving the energy efficiency of buildings based on fluid dynamics models : A critical review

Xiaoshu Lü, Tao Lu, Tong Yang, Heidi Salonen, Zhenxue Dai*, Peter Droege, Hongbing Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
107 Downloads (Pure)


The built environment is the global sector with the greatest energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. As a result, building energy savings can make a major contribution to tackling the current energy and climate change crises. Fluid dynamics models have long supported the understanding and optimization of building energy systems and have been responsible for many important technological breakthroughs. As Covid-19 is continuing to spread around the world, fluid dynamics models are proving to be more essential than ever for exploring airborne transmission of the coronavirus indoors in order to develop energy-efficient and healthy ventilation actions against Covid-19 risks. The purpose of this paper is to review the most important and influential fluid dynamics models that have contributed to improving building energy efficiency. A detailed, yet understandable description of each model’s background, physical setup, and equations is provided. The main ingredients, theoretical interpretations, assumptions, application ranges, and robustness of the models are discussed. Models are reviewed with comprehensive, although not exhaustive, publications in the literature. The review concludes by outlining open questions and future perspectives of simulation models in building energy research.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5384
Number of pages23
Issue number17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2021
MoE publication typeA2 Review article, Literature review, Systematic review


  • Buildings
  • Energy efficiency
  • Fluid dynamics models
  • Indoor environment
  • Simulation
  • Ventilation


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