American Society of Civil Engineers


Florida International University’s Wall of Wind: A Tool for Improving Construction Materials and Methods for Hurricane-Prone Regions


by Aly Mousaad Aly, (Laboratory for Wind Engineering Research, International Hurricane Research Center, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33174, USA. E-mail: aalysaye@fiu.edu; aly.mousaad@polimi.it), Girma Bitsuamlak, (Laboratory for Wind Engineering Research, International Hurricane Research Center, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33174, USA. E-mail: girma.bitsuamlak@fiu.edu), and Arindam Gan Chowdhury, (Laboratory for Wind Engineering Research, International Hurricane Research Center, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida International University, Miami, Florida 33174, USA. E-mail: chowdhur@fiu.edu)
Section: Risk Issues, Management, and Decision Making, pp. 352-359, (doi:  http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/41170(400)43)

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Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: Vulnerability, Uncertainty, and Risk: Analysis, Modeling, and Management
Abstract: Hurricane winds are one of the governing design environmental loads for structures. In coastal regions such as Florida, hurricanes cause enormous loss to life and property. Research focusing on the complex interaction between hurricanes and the built environment is therefore needed for developing a cohesive approach to build hurricane resilient coastal communities. At the International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC), Florida International University (FIU), research is going in stages on the construction of a large state-of-the-art Wall of Wind (WoW) facility for potential full- and large-scale wind engineering testing. In this paper, a technique for simulating hurricane winds at the WoW is presented and investigated. Wind profiles were simulated using turning vanes, and/or adjustable planks mechanism with and without grids. Assessments of flow characteristics were performed in order to enhance the WoW’s flow simulation capabilities. The full-scale testing facility will be capable of generating hurricane wind and wind-driven rain field with proper characteristics to allow better understanding of category 1 to 4 hurricane (using Saffir-Simpson scale) effects on structures. The facility will be large enough to engulf full- and large-scale models of single-story buildings built using actual construction materials. This will help improve code provisions, innovative hurricane mitigation development, and producing solutions which bridge the disciplines of wind engineering and structural engineering.


ASCE Subject Headings:
Florida
Construction materials
Hurricanes
Public buildings