The National Science Foundation has awarded $199,159 to Clarkson University Assistant Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering Pedro Fernández-Cabán for his research to explore new methods for mitigating wind damage on low-rise buildings.
The project, "ERI: Physical Simulation of Terrain-Induced and Large-Scale Turbulence Effects on the Effectiveness of Wind Mitigation Strategies for Low-Rise Buildings," is funded through the Engineering Research Initiation Program of NSF, which supports new investigators as they initiate and advance their careers as researchers, educators, and innovators.
Fernández-Cabán’s research team will leverage a novel multi-fan flow-control instrument at the University of Florida Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure Experimental Facility. They plan to accurately evaluate the impact and role of extreme wind flows near the Earth’s surface on the intensity and distribution of wind forces acting on roof components of low-rise buildings.
"Wind-related damage to low-rise buildings is mainly attributed to strong uplift forces that develop near the corners and edges of roof systems," says Fernández-Cabán.
The research will integrate physical wind tunnel experiments, machine learning, and computational fluid dynamics to reliably predict extreme wind load effects on roof systems of low-rise buildings. The project will also explore the effectiveness of different aerodynamic roof load reduction strategies to alter the wind flow field around buildings and prevent the development of strong and localized wind-induced forces.
Wind load mitigation strategies explored in the research will be tested under physically simulated hurricane wind fields in a large-boundary-layer wind tunnel. The work aims at producing critical baseline measurements that can be utilized in future research to compare hurricane building performance with other extreme windstorm events, such as tornadoes and downbursts generated by thunderstorm activity.
"The successful completion of the project will have a broad impact on researchers, industry practitioners, and future scientists and engineers," says Fernández-Cabán. "The research will address fundamental questions associated with the complex relationship between extreme wind flows and structural loading, while enhancing the performance of roof systems, and ultimately contribute to increasing wind hazard resilience of low-rise civil infrastructure."
Read more about this research at: https://nsf.gov/awardsearch/showAward?AWD_ID=2138414&HistoricalAwards=false