Numerical simulation of the influence of building‑tree arrangements on wind velocity and PM2.5 dispersion in urban communities

Fan Li, Matteo Rubinato, Tao Zhou, Jiaye Li, Chen Chen

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Airflow behavior and outdoor PM2.5 dispersion depend significantly on the building‑tree layouts and orientation towards the prevailing wind conditions. To investigate this issue, the present work evaluates the aerodynamic effect of different building‑tree layouts on the outdoor PM2.5 dispersions in the urban communities of Shijiazhuang City, China. The adopted numerical CFD technique was based on the standard k–ε model and the Disperse Phase Model (DPM). For this study, ten different building‑tree arrangements were conceptualized and all these configurations were simulated by using Ansys Fluent software to quantify the implications on the outdoor PM2.5 dispersion due to their presence. The results have shown that: (1) a wide building interval space could benefit the air ventilation and thus decrease PM2.5 concentrations, however, this effectiveness is highly influenced by the presence of the trees; (2) the trees on the leeward side of a building tend to increase the local wind velocity and decrease the pedestrian‑level PM2.5 concentrations, while those on the windward side tend to decrease the wind velocity. The small distance with trees in the central space of the community forms a wind shelter, hindering the particle dispersion; and (3) the configuration of parallel type buildings with clustered tree layouts in the narrow central space is most unfavorable to the air ventilation, leading to larger areas affected by excessive PM2.5 concentration.
Original languageEnglish
Article number16378
JournalScientific Reports
Early online date30 Sept 2022
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Sept 2022

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This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder.


This research work is supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (No. 52109079), GuanDong Basic and Applied Basic Research Foundation (No. 2021A1515110768) and Key Funded Disciplinary Research Promotion Project of Guangdong Higher Education Institutes (No. 226115001023)


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