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March 2019

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Luma Bendini

Small changes, big optimisations: corner modifications affect wind load

Minor modifications have little effect on geometry and can be introduced at a later stage of conceptual design. They are small changes but can bring big optimisations.

Wind load analysis is responsible for making sure that a building will have a good serviceability (such as durability, overall stability, cracking and excessive vibration, etc). Even if advanced structural systems and superior quality material confirm the overall safety of a project, vibrations caused by the wind can go beyond the human comfort zone. It can compromise the life of the building and create excessive noise and cracks.

Major and minor aerodynamic modifications can be made to address these issues.

Major modifications (such as tapering, setback, twisting, etc.) have a significant impact on the whole concept of architecture, and designers can only execute these changes in the early stages of a design.

On the other hand, minor modifications have little effect on a geometry and can be introduced at a later stage of conceptual design. However, small changes can bring big optimisations and be a huge life saver!

Adjusting the edges

Square and rectangular bluff-shaped buildings are conventional, which are more exposed to the vigorous vortex shedding induced vibrations and galloping oscillations occuring during strong winds.

Shear layer separation is a very common aerodynamic characteristic. From chamfering, rounding and recession, there are plenty of corner modifications that can promote shear layer reattachment.

Corner modifications are reliable techniques that significantly reduce the width of the wake and reduce the wind-induced loads by up to 30% -60%.

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Source: Journal of Building Engineering, July 2018, Pages 180-194

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