Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Arindam Gan Chowdhury

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Co-Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Peter Irwin

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Co-Chair

Third Advisor's Name

Amir Mirmiran

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Atorod Azizinamini

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Irtishad Ahmad

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Member


Low-rise Buildings, Wind Loads, Large-scale Testing, Partial Turbulence Simulation, Building Envelope, Probability Distribution Function, Pressure Coefficient, Roof Pavers, Wind Uplift, Conical Vortices, Design Guidelines

Date of Defense



The performance of building envelopes and roofing systems significantly depends on accurate knowledge of wind loads and the response of envelope components under realistic wind conditions. Wind tunnel testing is a well-established practice to determine wind loads on structures. For small structures much larger model scales are needed than for large structures, to maintain modeling accuracy and minimize Reynolds number effects. In these circumstances the ability to obtain a large enough turbulence integral scale is usually compromised by the limited dimensions of the wind tunnel meaning that it is not possible to simulate the low frequency end of the turbulence spectrum. Such flows are called flows with Partial Turbulence Simulation.

In this dissertation, the test procedure and scaling requirements for tests in partial turbulence simulation are discussed. A theoretical method is proposed for including the effects of low-frequency turbulences in the post-test analysis. In this theory the turbulence spectrum is divided into two distinct statistical processes, one at high frequencies which can be simulated in the wind tunnel, and one at low frequencies which can be treated in a quasi-steady manner. The joint probability of load resulting from the two processes is derived from which full-scale equivalent peak pressure coefficients can be obtained. The efficacy of the method is proved by comparing predicted data derived from tests on large-scale models of the Silsoe Cube and Texas-Tech University buildings in Wall of Wind facility at Florida International University with the available full-scale data.

For multi-layer building envelopes such as rain-screen walls, roof pavers, and vented energy efficient walls not only peak wind loads but also their spatial gradients are important. Wind permeable roof claddings like roof pavers are not well dealt with in many existing building codes and standards. Large-scale experiments were carried out to investigate the wind loading on concrete pavers including wind blow-off tests and pressure measurements. Simplified guidelines were developed for design of loose-laid roof pavers against wind uplift. The guidelines are formatted so that use can be made of the existing information in codes and standards such as ASCE 7-10 on pressure coefficients on components and cladding.





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