Uncovering Potential Risks of Wind-induced Cascading Damages to Construction Projects and Neighboring Community Grant

Uncovering Potential Risks of Wind-induced Cascading Damages to Construction Projects and Neighboring Community .


  • Unstructured construction sites, including incomplete structures and unsecured resources (e.g., materials, equipment, and temporary facilities), are among the most vulnerable environments to windstorms such as hurricanes. Wind-induced damages to construction sites cause substantial losses, disruption, and considerable schedule delays, and thus negatively impact the efficiency of construction projects. Moreover, wind-induced damage caused by equipment, materials or structural elements, for example, originating from construction sites negatively affect neighboring communities, triggering structural damage, serious injuries, and casualties, as well as economic losses. This project will create and validate a new streamlined Imaging-to-Simulation framework to prevent wind hazard events from causing catastrophic damage to construction projects and neighboring communities. This project will benefit our society as it will significantly enhance current windstorm preparedness and mitigation plans, which ultimately promote public safety, property loss reduction, insurance cost reduction, and induce a culture of preparedness for disasters. This multidisciplinary research will help broaden participation of a new generation of young people in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields through integrated research and pedagogical activities.Using knowledge on potential at-risk construction resources obtained through experimental testing of extreme wind events, this project will partially or fully automatically model the current state of construction sites through machine vision techniques using multimodal visual data obtained from construction workers and camera-equipped unmanned aerial vehicles. To perform multi-physics simulation of multiple discrete objects in unstructured construction sites, an impulse-based discrete element method will be conceptualized. This method explicitly accounts for impulse-based dynamics by realizing efficient computing, which enable balancing between significant speed-up and reasonable simulation fidelity. The approach can describe the collective motion of mutually interacting components over time. Component-based vulnerability and impact analysis with 3D Building or Civil Information Models (BIM/CIMs) will then be conducted to generate fundamental and highly specific knowledge on wind-induced damage mechanisms. Finally, the entire system will be validated in real-world construction projects and within a 12-fan Wall of Wind facility that can generate up to hurricane category 5 wind speeds.

date/time interval

  • January 1, 2017 - December 31, 2019

sponsor award ID

  • 1635378