Rooftop equipment wind load and mitigation techniques

Document Type



Master of Science (MS)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Arindam Chowdhury

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee Chair

Second Advisor's Name

Ton-Lo Wang

Third Advisor's Name

Amir Mirmniran

Date of Defense



Rooftop equipment failures pose significant threats during tropical cyclones because detached equipment may hinder post-storm recovery efforts, delay building re occupancy, and become windbore debris. The objectives of this study were to measure the wind loads exerted on a full scale rooftop equipment specimen, and to develop mitigation techniques that would alleviate severe rooftop equipment wind loads. A test building was outfitted with a/c condenser units, which were instrumented with force and pressure transducers to measure the aerodynamic loading effects. The study found that lateral forces measured in the full scale configuration compared well with a previous tunnel study, but differences existed between the uplift forces and overturning moments. Additionally, a full scale gust effect factor was found to be significantly higher than the wind tunnel results and the nominal value used in ASCE 7. Wind screens placed around the rooftop equipment were found to effectively alleviate the aerodynamic loading effects.



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