Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Engineers Model Effects Of Hurricane Force Winds On Structures

Date:
September 10, 2004
Source:
Virginia Tech
Summary:
As the rains from the downgraded Hurricane Frances move northward while the eastern U.S. continues to watch Hurricane Ivan's approach, the destruction from the heavy winds and rains is mounting into the billions of dollars. In most cases, low-rise buildings, including residential, institutional, and commercial structures are the most vulnerable and carry the brunt of the damage and losses from extreme wind.

Blacksburg, Va. -- As the rains from the downgraded Hurricane Frances move northward while the eastern U.S. continues to watch Hurricane Ivan's approach, the destruction from the heavy winds and rains is mounting into the billions of dollars.

In Florida alone, initial estimates for losses caused by Frances were between $2 and 4 billion following the projected $7.4 billion in insured damages from Hurricane Charley, according to Reuters News Service.

In most cases, low-rise buildings, including residential, institutional, and commercial structures are the most vulnerable and carry the brunt of the damage and losses from extreme wind.

"Engineers have the ability to theoretically understand and simulate how a storm will impact a structure," said Muhammad Hajj, professor of engineering science and mechanics at Virginia Tech. "This ability, however, needs to be complemented with computational power such as the supercomputing system developed at Virginia Tech to obtain reliable values for wind loads," he said.

Hajj and his Virginia Tech colleagues, Professors Henry Tieleman and Saab Ragab in Engineering Science and Mechanics, and Finley Charney in Civil and Environmental Engineering, are a part of the Hurricane Loss Reduction Consortium: Wind and Structural Engineering Initiative. The consortium members are Virginia Tech, Clemson University, University of Florida and the Johns Hopkins University. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) funded this consortium.

Although the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) maintains minimum building codes, and builders follow these codes "as a first basis," Hajj said, "there is still a wide fluctuation in the standards used." Hajj also notes that complex terrains of mountainous areas (as in the Carolinas, Virginia and some of the Caribbean Islands) create excessive turbulence that may cause increased wind loads."

In addition to differences in terrain, existing codes do not address how other factors contribute to damage to low-rise buildings. "As wind impacts a structure, different parameters such as duration of extreme loads, connector types, missing connectors, shoddy workmanship, and below-standard materials will determine the extent of damage," Hajj said. He and his colleagues are working on modeling these effects as well.

The researchers of the Hurricane Loss Reduction Consortium have instrumented homes along the Florida coast that were subjected to the winds of various storms such as Tropical Storm Isodore and Hurricanes Bonnie, Dennis and Floyd. They have analyzed these results and made preliminary comparisons to wind tunnel results. "The wind tunnel simulations are indeed capable of reproducing average values of wind loads, but appreciable differences may arise when considering local values," the team members from Virginia Tech explained in a progress report to NIST.

As the consortium continues its work, its long-term objective is to provide a full computational platform to calculate wind loads and structural capacities of low-rise buildings and to incorporate the findings into regional and national codes. Ultimately, the hope is to appreciably reduce damage and increase safety.

At Virginia Tech, the efforts are also a part of the recently established Center of Extreme Load Effects on Structures under Virginia Tech's Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science initiative.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Virginia Tech. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Virginia Tech. "Engineers Model Effects Of Hurricane Force Winds On Structures." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 10 September 2004. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040910080622.htm>.
Virginia Tech. (2004, September 10). Engineers Model Effects Of Hurricane Force Winds On Structures. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 22, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040910080622.htm
Virginia Tech. "Engineers Model Effects Of Hurricane Force Winds On Structures." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2004/09/040910080622.htm (accessed October 22, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Thanks, Marty McFly! Hoverboards Could Be Coming In 2015

Newsy (Oct. 21, 2014) If you've ever watched "Back to the Future Part II" and wanted to get your hands on a hoverboard, well, you might soon be in luck. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Robots to Fly Planes Where Humans Can't

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) Researchers in South Korea are developing a robotic pilot that could potentially replace humans in the cockpit. Unlike drones and autopilot programs which are configured for specific aircraft, the robots' humanoid design will allow it to fly any type of plane with no additional sensors. Ben Gruber reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Graphene Paint Offers Rust-Free Future

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 21, 2014) British scientists have developed a prototype graphene paint that can make coatings which are resistant to liquids, gases, and chemicals. The team says the paint could have a variety of uses, from stopping ships rusting to keeping food fresher for longer. Jim Drury reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
China Airlines Swanky New Plane

China Airlines Swanky New Plane

Buzz60 (Oct. 21, 2014) China Airlines debuted their new Boeing 777, and it's more like a swanky hotel bar than an airplane. Enjoy high-tea, a coffee bar, and a full service bar with cocktails and spirits, and lie-flat in your reclining seats. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins