Wind Pressures on Low Buildings with Parapets

by Theodore Stathopoulos, (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof. of Engrg.; Centre for Building Studies, Concordia Univ., Montreal, Quebec, Canada,

Serial Information: Journal of the Structural Division, 1982, Vol. 108, Issue 12, Pg. 2723-2736

Document Type: Journal Paper


The effect of parapets on the wind loading of low-rise buildings has been examined in the past, primarily under conditions of uniform flow not representing the variation of the mean speed with height and the turbulence characteristics of the natural wind. This paper presents the results of a recent experimental study carried out in a boundary layer wind tunnel in order to determine the wind loads on low-rise buildings of different configurations with and without parapets. Data show that the addition of parapets reduces the magnitude of roof peak suction coefficients with values greater than about 1.75 for open country and about 3.0 for suburban exposures, whereas lower suction values remain unaffected or slightly increase. On the other hand, parapets tend to increase the mean suction locally close to roof corners. The implication of the data presented for current Standards and Codes of Practice is analyzed and suggestions are made.

Subject Headings: Wind pressure | Wind loads | Suction | Wind speed | Load factors | Low-rise buildings | Boundary layers | Roofs

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