1. Limited time only! Sign up for a free 30min personal tutor trial with Chegg Tutors
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Wind Mitigation and Building Facade

  1. Mar 12, 2013 #1
    I am working on an independent study that involves housing typologies and their adaptation to climatic conditions. I am looking at row housing and how their facades may become more adaptable and responsive to changes during storm conditions. My site is beach front and prone to hurricane/ cyclone storm activities. I am wondering if anyone may have any insight as to what forms the facade may begin to take. For example, I have considered altering the beach facing facade from a 90 degree (vertical) wall, to a facade that is tilting it at a more subtle angle such as 30 degrees from the horizon so that it can better address strong winds. I have also considered a double facade that is separate from interior walls. This most exterior wall may have "punch outs" to reduce the surface area and reduce wind loads. I appreciate any and all commentary.
  2. jcsd
  3. Mar 13, 2013 #2


    User Avatar

    Staff: Mentor

    Welcome to the PF.

    Interesting project. What have you been finding in your research so far? I did a quick Google search on Hurricane Tolerant Construction, and got a number of good hits. I also found (via a Google suggestion) that Hurricane Tolerant Community gave some interesting hits.

    Also, is it just the ocean-facing facade that you need to worry about? I'm not that familiar with hurricanes (I live in earthquake country instead...), but I don't think that hurricane winds are always directed onshore. It would seem that depending on where the center track of the storm is, you could experience either onshore or offshore or alternating side winds (if the eye passes over you).
  4. Mar 14, 2013 #3
    I remember to have read that the form of certain fungi can allow dead trunks or old stand despite the wind.
    Polypore fungi were as : http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Piptoporus_betulinus_JPG3.jpg
    It seems to me that an architect wanted to test or tried to pu a structure as this fungus (but bigger) on smokestacks to mprove their wind resistance. But maybe this type of structure would be useful as a form of "pillar" and not a facade.
    F Lamiot
  5. Mar 19, 2013 #4
    A rounded structure will make the wind flow around it: hurricane ties that tie the roof structure to the foundation will help prevent wind lift so the roof is less likely to be pulled off.
    Shear panels inside the wall will strengthen the structure, and you can increase the wall's resistance to strong winds by gluing and screwing plywood (not particle board or OSB ) to the studding, ideally on both sides of the studs.

    Using a form of Larsen Truss, or double stud walls, you can deepen the stud cavities to provide more insulation, a low cost way to reduce energy needs.
    Learn more about these by checking the header 'Double-Stud Walls', or doing a search for Larsen Truss at:

    In closing, I also have a hunch that providing a well built living roof, one which has more mass than a normal roof deck, will dampen the effects of wind on the roof, but I can't prove that... my assumption is that the plants will increase the turbulence close to the roof's surface, and that turbulent region will change how much force impacts the overall roof surface. But I can't prove that...
  6. Mar 19, 2013 #5
    Sorry to get back so late. I have included diagrams and plans of my current design.

    Shown are some precedents I have looked at and my initial design phases from concluding ideas. I have also contemplated ideas from some readings on wind tunnel testing of various pitched roofs that 30° is the maximum pitch desirable to minimize wind loads on the windward side of the roof. I have then concluded I wish to morph the roof and exterior wall into one form (a tilted facade). I then chose to pop out voids in the tilted facade to act as decks or lounging areas to escape to the outdoors while still maintaining a level of privacy. The decks are then operable to pivot along a point and become protection from debris. I have also elevated the structure to account for flooding and this elevated space on street level also becomes a breezeway to allow for wind to pass under it. (I have wondered if uplift would be an issue in this design step?) All in all the idea of my design is to elevate the living space, allow for wind to pass over and under (as these are row houses and the sides are negligible except for those on the end, which I am still working on how this will workout). Also the decking and other platforms would form a "testudo" form that protects from winds and debris.

    Attached Files:

  7. Mar 19, 2013 #6
    here are some elevations, plans, and axons on how they perform

    Attached Files:

  8. Mar 19, 2013 #7
    I am beginning to look into these as how they may become beneficial towards my process. Thanks for the advice. The only concern I have is that these seem to be on trees and grow tall whereas my site would mandate a low structure (45' at best in height). However, I think if I spend some time exploring these more in depth I can begin to understand what it is about them (other than just their shape) that allows for a better wind adaptability. Perhaps their texture is something to consider? Again thanks for the precedent, I will look more into this.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook