Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Ioannis Zisis

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Arindam Gan Chowdhury

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Third Advisor's Name

Peter Irwin

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

David Garber

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Lu Zhang

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Wind Driven Rain, Interior Damage, Residential Building, Water Intrusion

Date of Defense



This research aims to experimentally investigate the interior damage in residential buildings caused by rainwater intrusion during hurricane events. The first step, to experimentally evaluate the wind-driven rain effects on the building’s interior, is to accurately simulate the rain field associated with the hurricane. The wind-driven rain simulation was performed at the 12-fan Wall of Wind Experimental Facility at Florida International University. The characteristic of the simulated rain field was compared to a target characteristic obtained from the recorded data from past hurricanes to validate the simulation. In the next step, the large-scale models were subjected to the simulated rain field to observe the water propagation inside the models. The gable and hip roof models were prepared with three different exterior damage conditions, including the light damage state, minor damage state, and moderate damage state, to investigate the effect of envelope openings on the water propagation path. Each model was tested at three wind angles of 0˚, 45˚ and 90˚ to assess the effects of wind direction. The interior of the models was divided into 6 different room compartments separated by partition walls, as well as 6 different attic compartments divided by short divider pieces. Finally, the results were used to evaluate the share of each interior component from the total amount of water that intrudes into the building. The last phase of the research concentrated on the experimental evaluation of the sustained damage by partition walls subjected to water intrusion. The full-scale model was subjected to the simulated rain field at the Wall of Wind Experimental Facility test section. The interior of the model was built to simulate the actual interior of a residential building. The experimental results were used to evaluate the sustained damage by the partition. This research made a great step forward in clarifying the mechanism of interior damage sustained in residential buildings due to rain intrusion during hurricanes. Most important, the results can be used in Hurricane Loss Models to predict the sustained damage on residential buildings at different hurricane hazard levels.







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