SYMPOSIA PAPER Published: 01 January 2003

The Use of Wind Tunnels to Assist in Cladding Design for Buildings


Wind loads on a building are sensitive to a number of factors, including the wind speed approaching the site, building height and shape, and the local influence of nearby buildings on the wind flow patterns. Building codes attempt to allow for these factors by providing simple formulae for calculating design wind loads that will be at least conservative. The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 7 Standard [1] and most other building codes recognize that for irregularly shaped buildings or structures that may have unusual response characteristics it is advisable to undertake detailed wind load studies or use wind tunnel methods of analysis. Wind tunnel methods determine the wind loading on a structure with increased precision, which leads to more economical and risk consistent structural designs than do code calculation methods. This paper describes the wind tunnel method of determining cladding wind loads, and provides comparisons between the wind tunnel method and code calculation methods for a 22-story building.

Author Information

Williams, CJ
Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc., Guelph, Ontario
Conley, GJ
Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc., Guelph, Ontario
Kilpatrick, J
Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin Inc., Guelph, Ontario
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Developed by Committee: E06
Pages: 42–53
DOI: 10.1520/STP10926S
ISBN-EB: 978-0-8031-5474-2
ISBN-13: 978-0-8031-3457-7