Development of Effective Approaches to the Large-Scale Aerodynamic Testing of Low-Rise Buildings Grant

Development of Effective Approaches to the Large-Scale Aerodynamic Testing of Low-Rise Buildings .


  • This award is funded under the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-5)The objective of this project is to develop innovative methods for simple and accurate large-scale aerodynamic testing of low-rise buildings. The research will seek answers to fundamental bluff body aerodynamics issues of interest in civil engineering applications by investigating flow features and effects not reproducible in conventional facilities. These include: effects of important non-dimensional fluid mechanics parameters (e.g., high Reynolds numbers); flow behavior around typical building edges; high-frequency and controlled low-frequency turbulence fluctuations; sudden internal pressure changes; non-stationary gusts; and sharp wind direction changes. The research will result in substantial improvements in the estimation of aerodynamic response and provide the prerequisites for developing realistic standard provisions on wind loads. The objectives will be pursued through controlled and repeatable experiments at large geometric scales, in a new state-of-the-art Wall of Wind (WoW)testing facility capable of producing flow speeds of up to 63 m/s (140 mph). Active and passive controls aimed at producing flows similar to real wind flows will be designed on the basis of detailed wind speed data collected in hurricanes and extratropical storms. The research will develop the scientific underpinnings of low-rise building design, resulting in sustainable communities with enhanced human safety and reductions of property loss and insurance costs. The project will advance discovery by performing cutting-edge research while promoting learning through collaborations from K-12 to undergraduate and graduate students and community college teachers. The activities will involve female students through the Women in Engineering Projects Teams program, African-American students from Florida Memorial University, and Hispanic students from Miami Dade College. A trained workforce will be developed to transfer technology from academia to applications. Results will be disseminated through journals and conferences, WoW workshops, and reports to policy makers and committees, to advance the state of the art and improve current practices and standards.

date/time interval

  • September 1, 2009 - August 31, 2013

sponsor award ID

  • 0928740