Wind loads on low-rise buildings in general and residential homes in particular can differ significantly depending upon the laboratory in which they were measured. The differences are due in large part to inadequate simulations of the low-frequency content of atmospheric velocity fluctuations in the laboratory and to the small scale of the models used for the measurements. The imperfect spatial coherence of the low frequency velocity fluctuations results in reductions of the overall wind effects with respect to the case of perfectly coherent flows. For large buildings those reductions are significant. However, for buildings with sufficiently small dimensions (e.g., residential homes) the reductions are relatively small. A technique is proposed for simulating the effect of low-frequency flow fluctuations on such buildings more effectively from the point of view of testing accuracy and repeatability than is currently the case. Experimental results are presented that validate the proposed technique. In addition to eliminating a major cause of discrepancies among measurements conducted in different laboratories, the technique allows the use of considerably larger model scales than are possible in conventional testing. The technique is applicable to wind tunnels and large scale open jet facilities, and can help to standardize flow simulations for testing residential homes as well as significantly improving testing accuracy and repeatability. The work reported in this paper is a first step in developing the proposed technique. Additional tests are planned to further refine the technique and test the range of its applicability.
Citation: Wind and Structures
Pub Type: Journals
Aerodynamics, atmospheric surface layer, building technology, low-rise structures, open jet facilities, residential buildings, wind engineering, wind tunnels.