I want to simulate air flow inside the building to analyze indoor air quality and thermal comfort. My research question is . How objects (eg: furniture) in a room/hall can be arranged to maximize the utilization of ventilation in a room.

Given a room, which is the best place to put a table or a bed so that the person on it has maximum thermal comfort. So i may be need to know following parameters:

  • air flow trajectory
  • Air temperature in different parts of the room
  • Comfort parameters like PVD, PMV

Is there any software which provides tools to simulate this. Please mention open source softwares only.

The demo below shows something similar to my goal. However, this software seems to be proprietary.



2 Answers 2


I would give OpenFOAM a try, I'm using it for marine engineering, but you could just as well do HVAC simulation with it! There is a large community and some helpful tutorials to get started with. It has an awful lot of CFD solvers, so there should be something suitable included for you.


It may sound a bit strange but the Fire Dynamics Simulator a great tool for simulating heat and mass transfer within buildings. The fact that you won't be simulating combustion at all really just makes it easier(and faster). The is freely available, very well documented, has pretty readable code and includes visualization software.

I've used this a fair amount both for fire scenarios and other heat transfer systems.

Normally, you specify the geometry manually in text files, but there is a 3rd party application Pyrosim that gives you a GUI for setting up the cases. Nice to have but certainly non necessary.

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