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Wind and Structures
  Volume 10, Number 5, September 2007 , pages 481-494

Downburst versus boundary layer induced wind loads for tall buildings
Jongdae Kim, Horia Hangan and T.C. Eric Ho

    Downbursts are transient phenomena that produce wind profiles that are distinctly different from synoptic boundary layers. Wind field data from Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations of isolated downburst-like impinging jets, are used to investigate structural loads of tall buildings due to these high intensity winds. The base shear forces and base moments of tall buildings of heights between 120 and 250 m produced by downburst winds of various scales are compared with the forces from the equivalent boundary layer gust winds, with matched 10-metre wind velocity. The wind profiles are mainly functions of the size of the downburst and the radial distance from the centre of the storm. Wind forces due to various downburst profiles are investigated by placing the building at different locations relative to the storm center as well as varying the size of the downburst. Overall it is found that downbursts larger than approx. 2,000 m in diameter might produce governing design wind loads above those from corresponding boundary layer winds for tall buildings.
Key Words
    downbursts; boundary layers; structural loads; tall buildings.
Alan G Davenport Wind Engineering Group, The University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada

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