Wind engineering is the area of aerodynamics that studies the effect of wind on bluff bodies and civil engineering structures. According to Jack E. Cermak, “Wind engineering is best defined as the rational treatment of the interactions between wind in the atmospheric boundary layer and man and his works on the surface of earth”.
In order to know the wind loads on the works mentioned by Cermak, standards and recommendations are available. These standards allow a reliable calculation of pressures or loads on structures of different shapes.
However, the standards have limitations, since they are intended to cover a small number of geometries, which can be expressed in a few geometrical parameters. In addition, codes lead to overestimation of the loads, which has a direct impact on the cost of the project.
Thus, in cases where the geometry of the building or structure is not easily compared to one of those shapes, or in cases where it is essential to reduce the uncertainty of wind loads for cost or safety reasons, wind tunnel tests must be used.
IDR/UPM has a long history of research in the wind engineering, which started in the late 1970s. More than 300 tests on different buildings and structures have been performed since.
The most usual buildings and structures tested in our wind tunnel are the following: