Direct measurement of wind loads on a low-rise test building
Bird, Mark Wesley
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Wind loads on low-rise structures are studied in the field primarily so that the results obtained can be used to provide a base-line data set and to assist in wind tunnel studies. The objective of this work is to develop a means of directly measuring total wind loads in the field on a low-rise test building. This project is part of the Texas Tech University / Colorado State University Cooperative Program In Wind Engineering to study wind effects on low-rise buildings. The experimental facility utilized is the Wind Engineering Research Field Laboratory (WERFL) on the campus of Texas Tech University. This thesis contains development of an experimental procedure for directly measuring total wind-induced loads (total horizontal shear and uplift) on the 30 ft x 45 ft x 13 ft test building along with some preliminary results. These loads are measured by supporting the entire building on four load cells(one at each corner). The load cells were constructed in the laboratory to register force in the three orthogonal directions. Forces recorded by the load cells and pressures recorded at the 12 pressure taps (windward wall, roof and leeward wall) are used to measure wind-induced loads. Data utilized In this project is limited to records with winds normal to long axis of the building collected in February and March of 1995. A total of twelve 15-minute records are used in the analysis. Analysis of data indicates difficulty in obtaining a reference load (when wind Is zero). A procedure to overcome this difficulty is suggested. Preliminary results show that overall loads measured using the load cells are smaller than the ones obtained from the integration of pressure tap values. However, there is significant uncertainty and scatter in the results obtained from the load cells.