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Wind Loading Codification in the Americas: Fundamentals for a Renewal


Emil Simiu


A survey of current wind engineering practices and their reflection in codes and standards reveals the existence of areas in which substantial progress needs to be made and are now possible. These areas belong to micrometerology, wind climatology, aerodynamics laboratory testing, structural dynamics, aeroelasticity, statistics, structural reliability, multi-hazard design, wind effects estimation practice, and the standards development process from the points of view of both form and substance. In particular, low-rise building aerodynamics need serious attention, since both design and loss estimation are likely being seriously affected by the incorporation in the ASCE 7 Standard of test results that can differ significantly in certain instances by factors larger than two -- from actual values. It is pointed out that wind effects on tall buildings must be estimated by correctly accounting for wind directionality, one of the main factors that caused large differences between recent wind tunnel test results obtained by independent wind engineering laboratories. Progress in terms of transparency and public availability of test and wind effects estimation records is also necessary to allow clear understanding by structural engineers, independent scrutiny, public accountability, and a defensible basis for wind engineering laboratory certification.
Proceedings Title
Proceedings, 11th Americas Conference on Wind Engineering
Conference Dates
April 27-June 25, 2009
Conference Location
Puerto Rico, PR


Building technology, hurricanes, synoptic winds, structural engineering, tall buildings, thunderstorms, wind engineering, wind speeds.


Simiu, E. (1970), Wind Loading Codification in the Americas: Fundamentals for a Renewal, Proceedings, 11th Americas Conference on Wind Engineering, Puerto Rico, PR (Accessed April 16, 2024)
Created May 7, 2017, Updated February 19, 2017