Clemson University researches impacts of high winds on buildings

Researchers at Clemson University study the wind impacts on buildings.

CLEMSON, SC (WSPA) – Power outages and downed trees was just some evidence of the forceful winds in the Upstate. One Clemson researcher is studying the powers of these winds and how you can build your homes to better protect you from the damage.

It all starts at Clemson University’s wind tunnel. With the power of two fans, the researchers can replicate up to 50 mile per hour winds on a building or bridge built to scale. The power of the wind will show the weakest points on a building. Then the researchers can pinpoint how building codes should change to create buildings that will withstand high powered winds like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma brought to our coasts.

“Build it so you can prevent any damages and there are lots of revisions to building codes that happen periodically and it’s based on new research and as we build new things we want to build to the knowledge that we have,” said Bill Ashman, a graduate research assistant at Clemson University.

Ashman said it’s near impossible to know how wind will hit trees to knock them down, but they can determine how the wind will hit a structurally sound building. So if this research can protect you from roofs breaking apart and damaging other buildings its one step closer to being better protected during these natural disasters.