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Baltimore Convention Center Hilton Hotel Study

Wind tunnel testing to evaluate pedestrian-level wind flow around proposed convention center hotel occupying two city blocks.

Weidlinger Associates performed wind tunnel testing to evaluate pedestrian comfort and safety at various locations around the perimeter of the proposed Baltimore Convention Center Hilton Hotel complex. The development features a 20-story hotel building on a four-story podium and a three-story building, which will stand between the hotel and convention center, connecting to them via elevated pedestrian bridges. The study entailed modeling of the proposed buildings, as well as all significant surrounding structures, for testing in a boundary layer atmospheric wind tunnel. Historical wind speed data for the project site were obtained from the National Climatic Data Center weather station at the Baltimore-Washington International Airport and corrected for height and exposure appropriate to the site. A statistical analysis of historic wind speed data was performed to establish the local wind climatology. Site plans, architectural drawings, aerial photographs, and topographic maps were also reviewed.

Comfort criteria for various outdoor activities were based on those in the 2004 Outdoor Human Comfort and Its Assessment, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers. Because winds around some tall buildings are sufficient to blow people over, the study included an evaluation of pedestrian safety at 39 locations around the site.

Completion Date: 2005
Location: Baltimore, Maryland
Owner or Client: Baltimore Development Corporation
Prime Consultant(s): RTKL Associates

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