Full-scale testing of low-rise, residential buildings with realistic wind loads

G.A. Kopp, M.J. Morrison, D.J. Henderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Citations (Scopus)


Wind engineering research is undergoing some dramatic changes with novel, large-scale and full-scale research facilities being built around the world to deal with the rising economic losses associated with natural disasters caused by severe wind storms. The paper discusses some of the emerging test methods and challenges being addressed by such facilities with a particular focus on full-scale testing at the “Three Little Pigs” Project at the University of Western Ontario and at the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety's new research facility in South Carolina. The challenges center around both the nature of wind loading and the response of low-rise, residential structures. Residential construction is typically built using prescriptive building codes, and is characterized by the use of materials with large variability and structures with significant static indeterminacy making load paths and overall performance difficult to ascertain. These new facilities are able to deal with these issues by bringing realistic wind loads to full-scale structures, enabling the development of improved building code requirements, product safety standards and loss models. Recent research on the performance of toe-nailed, roof-to-wall connections in wood-frame houses serves as a case study to illustrate these points.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-39
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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