Researchers are investigating how high winds impact the structural integrity of high-rises

Engineering experts from FIU and Lehigh University are using an innovative part-physical, part-computational testing method known as real-time cyber-physical modeling to get a full picture of how powerful winds affect tall buildings. This information is critical for building better, safer and more resilient high-rises.

The team’s test links a building model at FIU’s Wall of Wind, part of the Extreme Events Institute, with a model on a computer to create realistic simulations of how skyscrapers face powerful winds. The physical and digital buildings adjust to each other’s movements at 260 actions per second to remain in sync, creating an ultra-realistic simulation.

“If we only simulate a building in a computer, we are not getting realistic wind actions, and if we only simulate it in the laboratory, we are not mimicking a building’s exact changing position in the wind. These two models complement each other, allowing us to find new ways to make buildings resilient to natural hazards,” said Amal Elawady, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at FIU’s College of Engineering and Computing and co-principal investigator of research at FIU’s Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure Wall of Wind Experimental Facility.

Read more at FIU News.