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A major function of the envelope of a building is to protect the interior from weather and to provide a comfortable environment inside the building. Recently, there have been significant advancements in construction techniques and material science relating to building envelope construction. The information (the amount of wind and rain) required for the weathertightness design and testing of a building envelope is not as developed. There is no rational approach to obtain such criteria and the values used in the current practices involve significant uncertainties.
This paper proposes the use of a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) approach to obtain the intensity of wind-driven rain which impinges a building's faces. This wind-driven rain intensity and the associated wind pressure are estimated systematically using CFD method and extreme-statistics analysis. Results of the analysis, which give the criteria for water penetration testing for a building envelope, are obtained as a function of the return period. This method is applied to a sample rectangular building situated in Sydney, Australia, and finds that the testing pressure is significantly higher than the value currently specified in ASTM E331-86.
Wind-driven rain, Weathertightness, water leakage, water penetration, testing criteria
Assoc. Professor, School of Civil and Structural Engg., Nanyang Technological University,