Document Type



Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Civil Engineering

First Advisor's Name

Amal Elawady

First Advisor's Committee Title

Committee chair

Second Advisor's Name

Peter Irwin

Second Advisor's Committee Title

Co-Committee chair

Third Advisor's Name

Arindam Gan Chowdhury

Third Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fourth Advisor's Name

Ioannis Zisis

Fourth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Fifth Advisor's Name

Seung Jae Lee

Fifth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member

Sixth Advisor's Name

Wallied Orabi

Sixth Advisor's Committee Title

Committee member


Aerodynamics, Elevated structure, CFD, Experimental, Peak pressure, Wall of Wind, CFD, Wind loads, Pressure coefficient

Date of Defense



The vulnerability of low-rise residential buildings to extreme wind events, such as hurricanes, is an escalating concern due to the frequent failures and losses. Elevated low-rise structures are constructed to reduce the hydrodynamic load from surges and flooding during hurricanes. However, due to the current lack of information, wind loading on elevated coastal structures is not adequately addressed in current international guidelines. To address this knowledge gap, large-scale experimental studies were conducted to precisely determine wind effects on elevated houses with different numbers of stories and varying stilt heights. In this study, comparisons are presented on various tested configurations to show the effect of elevating residential houses on the resulting wind loads. In particular, this work investigates the peak pressure coefficients and wind forces on the building roof, walls, and floor underside. The experimental program was supplemented by numerical simulations using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to assess the airflow around the model and the role of the air gap underneath the floor on altering the aerodynamics. Local peak pressure patterns and wind loads for structural design were analyzed with a view to the development of building code provisions. The recommended external pressure coefficients for the exterior floor surface are compared to those for a flat roof surface of a low-rise building.





Previously Published In

Published Journal articles

[J1] N. Abdelfatah, A. Elawady, P. Irwin, and A. G. Chowdhury, " A study of aerodynamic pressures on elevated houses," in Wind and Structures An International Journal., vol. 31, no. 4, pp. 335-350, October 2020

[J2] N. Abdelfatah, A. Elawady, P. Irwin, and A. G. Chowdhury, " Experimental investigation of wind impact on low-rise elevated residences," in Engineering Structures., 2022 [Under Review]

Published Conference papers:

[C1] N. Abdelfatah, A. Elawady, P. Irwin, and A. G. Chowdhury, " Pressure coefficient distribution on elevated houses," in 5th American Association of Wind Engineering Work, Miami, Florida, August 2018.

[C2] N. Abdelfatah, A. Elawady, P. Irwin, and A. G. Chowdhury, " Experimental study of wind effect on single story elevated house," in 2nd National Conference on Wind Engineering, Bucharest, Romania, June 2019.

[C3] N. Abdelfatah, A. Elawady, P. Irwin, and A. G. Chowdhury, " Aerodynamic Study of Elevated Houses," in 15th International Conference on Wind Engineering, Beijing, China, September 2019.

[C4] N. Abdelfatah, A. Elawady, P. Irwin, and A. G. Chowdhury, " Wind Pressure Distribution on Single-Story and Two-Story Elevated Structures," in 5th Residential Building Design & Construction Conference, Pennsylvania, March 2020.

[C5] N. Abdelfatah, A. Elawady, P. Irwin, and A. G. Chowdhury, " Wind Effects on Coastal Elevated Structures," in 9th International Colloquium on Bluff Body Aerodynamics and Applications, July 2020.

[C6] N. Abdelfatah, A. Elawady," Numerical investigation of wind actions on elevated houses” in 6th AAWE Workshop, May 2021

[C7] N. Abdelfatah, A. Elawady," CFD Simulations of Elevated Houses Aerodynamics with Different Aspect Ratios” in 14th ACWE conference, May 2022

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