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

Amir Mirmiran

Third Advisor's Name

Irtishad Ahmad

Fourth Advisor's Name

Girma Bitsuamlak

Fifth Advisor's Name

Ping Zhu


Full-scale testing, Low-rise buildings, Net peak pressures, Roof damage, Roof tiles, Roof shingles, Wind tunnel, Internal pressure, Tile uplift testing, Vulnerability.

Date of Defense



Widespread damage to roofing materials (such as tiles and shingles) for low-rise buildings, even for weaker hurricanes, has raised concerns regarding design load provisions and construction practices. Currently the building codes used for designing low-rise building roofs are mainly based on testing results from building models which generally do not simulate the architectural features of roofing materials that may significantly influence the wind-induced pressures. Full-scale experimentation was conducted under high winds to investigate the effects of architectural details of high profile roof tiles and asphalt shingles on net pressures that are often responsible for damage to these roofing materials. Effects on the vulnerability of roofing materials were also studied. Different roof models with bare, tiled, and shingled roof decks were tested. Pressures acting on both top and bottom surfaces of the roofing materials were measured to understand their effects on the net uplift loading. The area-averaged peak pressure coefficients obtained from bare, tiled, and shingled roof decks were compared. In addition, a set of wind tunnel tests on a tiled roof deck model were conducted to verify the effects of tiles’ cavity internal pressure. Both the full-scale and the wind tunnel test results showed that underside pressure of a roof tile could either aggravate or alleviate wind uplift on the tile based on its orientation on the roof with respect to the wind angle of attack. For shingles, the underside pressure could aggravate wind uplift if the shingle is located near the center of the roof deck. Bare deck modeling to estimate design wind uplift on shingled decks may be acceptable for most locations but not for field locations; it could underestimate the uplift on shingles by 30-60%. In addition, some initial quantification of the effects of roofing materials on wind uplift was performed by studying the wind uplift load ratio for tiled versus bare deck and shingled versus bare deck. Vulnerability curves, with and without considering the effects of tiles’ cavity internal pressure, showed significant differences. Aerodynamic load provisions for low-rise buildings’ roofs and their vulnerability can thus be more accurately evaluated by considering the effects of the roofing materials.





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