Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Arindam Gan Chowdhury

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Emil Simiu

Second Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Ioannis Zisis

Third Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Atorod Azizinamini

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Ping Zhu

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

committee member


Database-Assisted Design, Wind Loading, Rigid Buildings, Building Codes, Frame Design, Aerodynamic Database, Climatological Database

Date of Defense



The turbulent nature of the wind flow coupled with additional turbulence created by the wind-building interaction result in highly non-uniform, fluctuating wind-loading on building envelopes. This is true even for simple rectangular symmetric buildings. Building codes and standards should reflect the information on which they are based as closely as possible, and this should be achieved without making the building codes too complicated and/or bulky. However, given the complexity of wind loading on low-rise buildings, its codification can be difficult, and it often entails significant inconsistencies. This required the development of alternative design methods, such as the Database-Assisted-Design (DAD) methodology, that can produce more accurate and risk-consistent estimates of wind loads or their effects.

In this dissertation, the DAD methodology for rigid-structures has been further developed into a design tool capable of automatically helping to size member cross sections that closely meet codified strength and serviceability requirements. This was achieved by the integration of the wind engineering and structural engineering phases of designing for wind and gravity loads. Results obtained using this method showed DAD’s potential for practical use in structural design. Different methods of synthesizing aerodynamic and climatological data were investigated, and the effects of internal pressure in structural design were also studied in the context of DAD. This dissertation also addressed the issues of (i) insufficiently comprehensive aerodynamic databases for various types of building shapes, and (ii) the large volume (in size) of existing aerodynamic databases, that can significantly affect the extent to which the DAD methodology is used in engineering practice.

This research is part of an initiative to renew the way we evaluate wind loads and perform designs. It is transformative insofar as it enables designs that are safe and economical owing to the risk-consistency inherent in DAD, meaning that enough structural muscle is provided to assure safe behavior, while fat is automatically eliminated in the interest of economy and CO2 footprint reduction.





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