The development of wind damage bands for buildings

C. O. Unanwa, J. R. McDonald, K. C. Mehta, D. A. Smith

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Scopus citations


The past decade in the United States was marked by a tremendous loss in properties attributed to wind damage, generating in the process, an enormous awareness to the twin problems of wind damage mitigation and storm prediction. This paper proposes a new approach to hurricane wind damage prediction using the concept of wind damage bands. The damage band prediction methodology employs an objective weighting technique driven by building component cost factors, component fragilities, and location parameters to obtain upper and lower bounds to building damage thresholds. Damage bands are developed for 1-3 story (low-rise) buildings as well as 4-10 story (mid-rise) buildings. The damage bands reveal that the wind damage response of individual 1-3 story buildings is most easily distinguished in the 43-60 m/s (sustained one-min mean) wind regime and that above 73 m/s sustained one-minute wind speed, 1-3 story buildings experience near-total destruction of their superstructures, with the damage response of the most wind-resistant and least wind-resistant building approaching each other. In contrast, the damage response of individual mid-rise buildings is most easily distinguished in the 60-81 m/s wind regime, and continues to depend largely upon the components and connections. Wind damage bands form the basis for new methods of wind damage prediction of individual buildings and groups of buildings, wind damage mitigation, and emergency management planning.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119-149
Number of pages31
JournalJournal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2000


  • Building damage
  • Damage prediction
  • Development
  • Wind damage bands


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