Design Pressure Analysis
Design Pressure Analysis refers to the wind tunnel testing of scale models that is used to determine wind-induced facade cladding pressure loads. Watch Vipac being interviewed by Channel 9 News here.
Who benefits from Design Pressure Analysis?
- Larger developments
- Structures with an unusual form
- Buildings with an unusual wind exposure.
Why is Design Pressure Analysis important?
Without scale model wind tunnel testing, wind loads cannot be estimated accurately due to the randomness inherent in turbulent flows. Conservative load estimates can lead to higher structural costs by requiring glazing, cladding and associated supporting structures to be of thicker gauge than necessary. Conversely, less rigorous load estimates may lead to structural failure.
Cladding pressure studies can lead to effective natural ventilation, improved air quality, reduced reliance on fan power and energy savings. Results can be used to determine optimal air inlet and exhaust locations.
Wind pressures at local points (eg. at one sheet of cladding) can vary significantly from those experienced by the underlying structure (ie. the sub-framing, the trusses and columns). Wind tunnel testing can assist to determine these localised and overall loads to an accuracy unobtainable from standard based analyses.
Furthermore, Vipac’s engineers have developed a technique to successfully harness facade pressures for the natural ventilation of single-sided apartments (on a double-loaded corridor).
Large buildings like airport hangars, stadium grandstands and warehouses can all experience substantial differences between the local maxima- that is, the points of maximum pressure- and the underlying structural loads. These are specially related to the details of the edge treatments. In one building, Vipac’s Engineering Consultants saved 100 tonnes of steel in the roof by carefully controlling the edge conditions.