Case Study : Innovation

Apple Park

This project applied Wirth Research’s expert CFD and aerodynamic knowledge to a large scale, high-profile, considering natural ventilation and the internal/external environment interaction.

By utilising high resolution CFD, we were able to support the application of natural ventilation into the Foster and Partners Apple Park. Using our specially formulated techniques on built environment external and internal airflow modelling, Foster and Partners were able to validate the buildings natural ventilation capability in all wind conditions.


Fosters and Partners A global, award-winning architectural firm based in London, with an innovative, modern and sustainable approach to architecture and integrated design. The practice, led by founder and chairman Lord Foster, is known for its striking, high-profile projects.


This four storey high, 600m diameter circular shaped building in Cupertino, California, is another high profile HQ designed by Foster and Partners. Surrounded by 7600 trees, which are a key part of the building environment, this multi billion dollar building is another that relies on natural ventilation to create the internal airflow environment. And while the work on this project is similar to the Bloomberg building, the sheer scale of Apple Park is one to behold.

For Apple Park, the effects of solar heating on a building situated in a warmer environment were more significant than they were for Bloomberg London, which, for its part, was more disrupted by fluctuating local wind conditions. But in both cases, Wirth’s underlying methodology remained the same.

Wirth Research were approached to provide detailed modelling capabilities of the buildings natural ventilation performance within the buildings surrounding landscape environment. Using ‘hi-res’ CFD, Wirth Research were asked to provide design support to ensure the ventilation system would provide an optimal working environment for this huge site.


Wirth Research carried out its innovative ‘hi-res’ CFD on the design for Apple Park, to model whether the buildings natural ventilation system would operate independent of the wind conditions, and surrounding environment. To enable the full operating conditions of the natural ventilation systems to be understood, the impact of all 7600 trees on the performance of the building was modelled. The level of detail captured within the model allowed accurate resolution of the internal airflow conditions, and importantly the variations. System operating changes were made to obtain a consistent working environment and optimise another successful natural ventilation system.

Engineering without limits

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