Intro to Simulation CFD for AEC Applications

Learn how to analyze and optimize airflow and heat transfer in building scale design projects using Autodesk Simulation CFD. After learning the fundamentals of the software workflow, dive deeper into applied examples of HVAC and data center design. Autodesk Simulation CFD is a powerful analysis tool that can help improve the energy use and thermal comfort of your design.

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This publication was developed for practicing engineers within the AEC industry, and advanced students, who are looking for a primer on using Autodesk Simulation CFD on their projects. There is also a companion set of online courses that include quizzes and are pre-approved for Continuing Education Units through the USGBC.

Software Covered: 

Introduction to Simulation CFD for AEC

In an introduction to Simulation CFD for AEC, gain insights into how CFD impacts AEC design efforts and how Autodesk Simulation CFD can support your design objectives.

Creating Building Geometry for CFD Simulation

An introduction to CAD idealization for CFD simulation.

An Introduction to Material Definitions in CFD

Explore the effects of material characterization and see examples of material device definitions commonly used in AEC applications.

Understanding Boundary Conditions in Simulation CFD

Defining known boundary conditions in Autodesk Simulation CFD.

Meshing in Simulation CFD

Meshing in Simulation CFD

Meshing is the process in which all of the simulation volumes are divided into thousands or even millions of smaller regions for numerical calculations. The quality of the mesh is a critical aspect of the overall simulation since it has a direct impact on both accuracy and solver run time.

Solving in Simulation CFD

The solver is the engine driving the simulation process. First, it must interpret all of the user-defined inputs to develop the mathematical equations. These equations are then solved to generate the ultimate goal of every simulation – results visualization, which helps guide critical design decisions. Solver options for Simulation CFD and the optimal settings for common AEC applications will be discussed in detail in this module.

Understanding Simulation CFD Results

Understanding Simulation CFD Results

Understand AEC results and interpret them to make informed design decisions.

Characterizing AEC Components for CFD Analysis

Characterization in Simulation CFD is the process of representing the physical, thermal, and flow characteristics of an element in your model. Learn how to strategically approach this task.

CFD Simulations of Data Centers

CFD Simulations of Data Centers

CFD can be used to model and improve the heat transfer and fluid flow in datacetner facilities, to help optimize the overall performance and prevent equipment from exceeding maximum operating temperatures.

CFD Simulations of HVAC Layout

This module will focus on the common components and results visualization associated with HVAC layout simulations.


Sim Specialists
Sim Specialists LLC is a technical resource providing engineering simulation consulting services and training. They become an extension of your engineering team to support active projects and initiatives related to flow, thermal, and structural applications across various industries including AEC, electronics, and flow control. Their expertise in Computer Aided Engineering (CAE) technologies has supported 100’s of projects as consultants and 100’s of users as trainers. They specialize in evaluating operating characteristics and improving product performance with engineering simulation specific to CFD and FEA technologies.
Co-Founder, Sim Specialists LLC
Tommy Mello is a technical resource in computer-aided engineering (CAE). Hundreds of companies have engaged Tommy for his expertise with engineering analysis—specifically computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and CAD—to impact design and business initiatives. He helps companies recognize the benefits of CAE though consulting and training services at Sim Specialists LLC. Tommy is an "engineers’ engineer" in regards to elaborate gardening irrigation systems, custom circuit boards, and heavily modified autos.
Co-Founder, Sim Specialists LLC