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Aerodynamic Databases and Electronic Standards for Wind Loads: A Pilot Application.

pdf icon Aerodynamic Databases and Electronic Standards for Wind Loads: A Pilot Application. (746 K)
Whalen, T. M.; Simiu, E.; Harris, G.; Lin, J.; Surry, D.

NIST SP 931; August 1998.

U.S./Japan Natural Resources Development Program (UJNR). Wind and Seismic Effects. Joint Meeting of the U.S./Japan Cooperative Program in Natural Resources Panel on Wind and Seismic Effects, 30th. May 12-15, 1998, Gaithersburg, MD, Raufaste, N. J., Jr., Editor(s), 506-514 pp, 1998.

Available from:

National Technical Information Service (NTIS), Technology Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce, Springfield, VA 22161.
Telephone: 1-800-553-6847 or 703-605-6000;
Fax: 703-605-6900.
Order number: PB98-150238


aerodynamics; codes; standards; databases; structural engineering; wind engineering


As part of ongoing National Institute of Standards and Technology research on the development of a new generation of standard provisions for wind loads, we present results of a pilot project on the use of large aerodynamic databases for the improved estimation of wind-induced bending moments and shear forces in low-rise building frames. We use records of wind pressure time histories measured at a large number of taps on the building surface in the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel of the University of Western Ontario. Time histories of moments and shear forces in a frame are obtained by adding pressures at all tape tributary to that frame multiplied by the respective tributary areas and influence coefficients. The latter were obtained from frame designs provided by CECO Building Systems. We compare results obtained by using the pressure time history records with results based on ASCE 7 standard provisions. The comparison shows clearly that provisions which use aerodynamic databases containing the type of data described in this work can result in designs that are significantly more risk-consistent as well as both safer and more economical than designs based on conventional standard provisions. We outline future research on improved design methodologies made possible by our proposed approach to wind loading standardization. Finally, the proposed methodologies may be used for damage assessment for insurance purposes.