Advances in the design of high-rise structures by the wind tunnel procedure: Conceptual framework

  • Received : 2015.01.28
  • Accepted : 2015.07.19
  • Published : 2015.11.25


This paper surveys and complements contributions by the National Institute of Standards and Technology to techniques ensuring that the wind tunnel procedure for the design of high-rise structures is based on sound methods and allows unambiguous inter-laboratory comparisons. Developments that enabled substantial advances in these techniques include: Instrumentation for simultaneously measuring pressures at multiple taps; time-domain analysis methods for estimating directional dynamic effects; creation of large simulated extreme directional wind speed data sets; non-parametric methods for estimating mean recurrence intervals (MRIs) of Demand-to-Capacity Indexes (DCIs); and member sizing based on peak DCIs with specified MRIs. To implement these advances changes are needed in the traditional division of tasks between wind and structural engineers. Wind engineers should provide large sets of directional wind speeds, pressure coefficient time series, and estimates of uncertainties in wind speeds and pressure coefficients. Structural engineers should perform the dynamic analyses, estimates of MRIs of wind effects, sensitivity studies, and iterative sizing of structural members. The procedure is transparent, eliminates guesswork inherent in frequency domain methods and due to the lack of pressure measurements, and enables structural engineers to be in full control of the structural design for wind.


aerodynamics;design;high-rise buildings;micrometeorology;structural dynamics;structural engineering;wind climate;wind engineering;wind tunnel procedure;wind tunnel testing


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