Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat

Wind Engineering Working Group
The main structure of a tall building and its façade must be designed to safely withstand the extreme winds that the building will be subjected to during its expected life.  An important part of achieving this is determining what the wind loads will be for specific mean recurrence intervals and what the uncertainties are in these loads.

While for ordinary buildings the wind loads and appropriate load factors that allow for uncertainty are often prescribed by the analytical methods given in building codes, for tall buildings, in view of the importance of wind loads to their cost and safety, these analytical methods often lack the precision needed.  They do not account well for important wind phenomena such as crosswind excitation, aerodynamic interactions between adjacent buildings and aerodynamic instability, all of which affect not only loads but also may cause building motions that occupants find excessive.

For these reasons the wind loads and motions of tall buildings are typically determined by wind tunnel tests on scale models of the building and its surroundings, through which much more precise, project specific, information is obtained.

Peter Irwin
Rowan Williams Davies & Irwin

Roy Denoon

David Scott
Laing O’Rourke

2013 technical guide released at the
London Conference


Working Group Milestones

Contact Information
For more information on the Wind Engineering Working Group, please contact any of the working group Co-Chairs (contact information is available by clicking on the Co-chair images above) and/or