Evaluation of Wind-Induced Internal Pressure In Low-Rise Buildings: A Multi Scale Experimental and Numerical Approach Dissertation

(2011). Evaluation of Wind-Induced Internal Pressure In Low-Rise Buildings: A Multi Scale Experimental and Numerical Approach . 10.25148/etd.FI11120905

thesis or dissertation chair


  • Tecle, Amanuel Sebhatu


  • Hurricane is one of the most destructive and costly natural hazard to the built environment and its impact on low-rise buildings, particularity, is beyond acceptable. The major objective of this research was to perform a parametric evaluation of internal pressure (IP) for wind-resistant design of low-rise buildings and wind-driven natural ventilation applications. For this purpose, a multi-scale experimental, i.e. full-scale at Wall of Wind (WoW) and small-scale at Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel (BLWT), and a Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) approach was adopted. This provided new capability to assess wind pressures realistically on internal volumes ranging from small spaces formed between roof tiles and its deck to attic to room partitions. Effects of sudden breaching, existing dominant openings on building envelopes as well as compartmentalization of building interior on the IP were systematically investigated.

    Results of this research indicated: (i) for sudden breaching of dominant openings, the transient overshooting response was lower than the subsequent steady state peak IP and internal volume correction for low-wind-speed testing facilities was necessary. For example a building without volume correction experienced a response four times faster and exhibited 30-40% lower mean and peak IP; (ii) for existing openings, vent openings uniformly distributed along the roof alleviated, whereas one sided openings aggravated the IP; (iii) larger dominant openings exhibited a higher IP on the building envelope, and an off-center opening on the wall exhibited (30-40%) higher IP than center located openings; (iv) compartmentalization amplified the intensity of IP and; (v) significant underneath pressure was measured for field tiles, warranting its consideration during net pressure evaluations. The study aimed at wind driven natural ventilation indicated: (i) the IP due to cross ventilation was 1.5 to 2.5 times higher for Ainlet/Aoutlet>1 compared to cases where Ainlet/AoutletCFD based IP responses. Comparisons with ASCE 7-10 consistently demonstrated that the code underestimated peak positive and suction IP.

publication date

  • November 10, 2011


  • Compartmentalization
  • Cross ventilation
  • Internal Presure
  • Sudden breach
  • Volume correction
  • Wall of Wind
  • dominant openings
  • full scale testing
  • low-rise buildings
  • multi-room partitioning
  • vents

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)