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Free-space optical systems offer many advantages for modern wireless communication compared to classical radio-band systems. Nevertheless, unlike fibre optics, their availability is highly affected by atmospheric disturbances. This study discusses the influences of temperature gradients around buildings that cause turbulent areas within the atmosphere, leading to the spatial change of the refractive index and consequently resulting in the bending or widening of transmitted optical beams. The influences of a nearby building on free-space optical links are discussed on the basis of measured data.