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Wind and Structures
  Volume 25, Number 3, September 2017, pages 233-259

Open-jet boundary-layer processes for aerodynamic testing of low-rise buildings
Hamzeh Gol-Zaroudi and Aly-Mousaad Aly

    Investigations on simulated near-surface atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) in an open-jet facility are carried out by conducting experimental tests on small-scale models of low-rise buildings. The objectives of the current study are: (1) to determine the optimal location of test buildings from the exit of the open-jet facility, and (2) to investigate the scale effect on the aerodynamic pressure characteristics. Based on the results, the newly built open-jet facility is well capable of producing mean wind speed and turbulence profiles representing open-terrain conditions. The results show that the proximity of the test model to the open-jet governs the length of the separation bubble as well as the peak roof pressures. However, test models placed at a horizontal distance of 2.5H (H is height of the wind field) from the exit of the open-jet, with a width that is half the width of the wind field and a length of 1H, have consistent mean and peak pressure coefficients when compared with available results from wind tunnel testing. In addition, testing models with as large as 16% blockage ratio is feasible within the open-jet facility. This reveals the importance of open-jet facilities as a robust tool to alleviate the scale restrictions involved in physical investigations of flow pattern around civil engineering structures. The results and findings of this study are useful for putting forward recommendations and guidelines for testing protocols at open-jet facilities, eventually helping the progress of enhanced standard provisions on the design of low-rise buildings for wind.
Key Words
    atmospheric boundary-layer; building aerodynamics; low-rise buildings; open-jet testing; scale issues; separation bubble; turbulence; wind loads; wind pressure measurement; wind tunnels
Hamzeh Gol-Zaroudi and Aly-Mousaad Aly: Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Louisiana State University, 3240M Patrick F. Taylor Hall, Baton Rouge, LA 70803, USA

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