Aerodynamic testing of low-rise structures is fraught with difficulties that can be the cause of large measurement errors resulting in the underestimation of aerodynamic pressures by a factor of as much as two. The errors are due in large part to the inadequate knowledge and simulation of wind flows affecting low-rise buildings, especially residential homes in suburban environments. A type of aerodynamic testing of sufficiently small low-rise structures is explored that does not entail the simulation of the turbulence intensity and integral turbulence scales. That type of testing would offer several advantages: eliminating a major cause of discrepancies among measurements conducted in different laboratories, allowing the use of larger model scales, and allowing testing in both typical commercial wind tunnels and in open jet facilities of the Wall of Wind (WoW) type. Preliminary tests based on data obtained at the University of Western Ontario (UWO) wind tunnel and the Florida International University (FIU) large-scale six-fan Wall of Wind facility suggest that the proposed type of testing yields systematically conservative results for the specialized type of measurements considered herein. In most but not all cases the degree of conservatism is modest. The results appear to be of sufficient interest to warrant additional research.
Citation: Natural Hazard Review-ASCE
Pub Type: Journals
Aerodynamics, atmospheric surface layer, building technology, low-rise structures, residential buildings, Wall of Wind, wind engineering, wind tunnels.