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International Comparison of Wind Tunnel Estimates of Wind Effects: Test-Related Uncertainties



William P. Fritz, B Bienkewicz, O Flamand


The consistency of measurements performed in various wind tunnels is of concern to both design engineers and code writers. This study makes an initial attempt at quantifying the variability of wind effects estimates based on tests conducted at six wind tunnel laboratories. Independent pressure tap measurements were made at the six laboratories on wind tunnel models of four buildings. Comparisons are among the respective estimates of the peak positive moment in a frame section near the knee joint. These results suggest that the modeling of suburban terrain, as opposed to open terrain, contributes significantly to the variability of the results. Other factors are the eave height, the variability being greater for lower-height models, wind direction and frame location within the building. Coefficients of variation are of the order of 10 % to 30 %. A comparison was also made among the estimated peak pressure coefficient of a tap located on the roof of the model nearest the building corner, for which the coefficients of variation are similarly large. In all cases comparisons were made between 50th percentiles of the randomly distributed peak values. The results of the study will be used in the development of wind load factors, or partial safety margins with respect to wind loading, that account for all the relevant uncertainties pertaining to the estimation of wind loads and effects.
Journal of Structural Engineering--ASCE


buildings, low-rise, wind pressure, wind tunnel models, wind tunnel test, wind tunnels


Fritz, W. , Bienkewicz, B. and Flamand, O. (2017), International Comparison of Wind Tunnel Estimates of Wind Effects: Test-Related Uncertainties, Journal of Structural Engineering--ASCE (Accessed May 23, 2024)


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Created February 19, 2017