Wind Engineering—Engineering for Wind Damage Mitigation

by Jack E. Cermak, Colorado State Univ, Fort Collins, United States,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Structural Engineering in Natural Hazards Mitigation


The establishment in 1970 of a new engineering discipline, wind engineering, was motivated by property damage caused by windstorms of 1970 known as the Lubbock Tornado and Hurricane Celia. Wind-engineering research and practice during the last two decades have contributed to significant improvement of building codes and advances in wind-tunnel testing for wind effects. In this period buildings designed and built in accordance with code provisions and/or wind-tunnel results (engineered buildings) have experienced little, if any, damage by severe windstorms. However, in the same period, property damage by wind has continued to increase at an alarming rate. What are the reasons for this trend and what mitigating actions are being or should be taken by the wind-engineering community? These questions are addressed following an overview of the wind hazard, dollar loss of property damage, and current wind-engineering practice.

Subject Headings: Wind engineering | Mitigation and remediation | Wind tunnel | Building design | Building codes | Standards and codes | Fluid dynamics | Natural disasters

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