Wind flow characteristics and their loading effects on flat roofs of low-rise buildings

Zhongshan Zhao, Partha P. Sarkar, Kishor C. Mehta, Fuqiang Wu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Wind flow and pressure on the roof of the Texas Tech Experimental Building are studied along with the incident wind in an effort to understand the wind-structure interaction and the mechanisms of roof pressure generation. Two distinct flow phenomena, cornering vortices and separation bubble, are investigated. It is found for the cornering vortices that the incident wind angle that favors formation of strong vortices is bounded in a range of approximately 50 degrees symmetrical about the roof-corner bisector. Peak pressures on the roof corner are produced by wind gusts approaching at wind angles conducive to strong vortex formation. A simple analytical model is established to predict fluctuating pressure coefficients on the leading roof corner from the knowledge of the mean pressure coefficients and the incident wind. For the separation bubble situation, the mean structure of the separation bubble is established. The role of incident wind turbulence in pressure-generation mechanisms for the two flow phenomena is better understood.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-48
Number of pages24
JournalWind and Structures, An International Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2002


  • Cornering vortices
  • Flat-roofed low-rise buildings
  • Incident wind-structure interaction
  • Peak pressure generation mechanisms
  • Pressure prediction model
  • Separation bubble
  • Wind loading effects


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