Tornado papers WInd Loads on Houses: A wind tunnel study L.M. St. Pierre J.K. Galsworthy R. McKinnon F.M. Bartlett July 17, 2003 ICLR Research Paper Series – No. 32
Damage due to natural hazards has increased dramatically in recent years, incurring losses of life and property around the world. Housing and other light-frame construction often bears the brunt of this damage because it represents a large percentage of structures and is typically non-engineered. The environmental loads that these structures must resist are relatively unknown. Wind tunnel experiments were therefore conducted at the University of Western Ontario to measure wind loads experienced by a typical Canadian two-story house. The different exposure conditions investigated included: a lone house without surrounding structures and a house among similar houses in a grid subdivision and a crescent subdivision. Pressure measurements were obtained at 422 locations on the house model, from which loads applied to cladding elements (windows, siding) and main structural components (such as roof trusses) were calculated. Results show that the wind loads applied to houses reduce dramatically when surrounding structures of similar size are present.