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Permasteelisa Group Joins the Wall of Wind Testing Facility at Florida International University

The partnership with WOW will allow Permasteelisa Group to test its façades against extreme wind loads, continuously improving the quality of our solutions.

Permasteelisa Group Joins the Wall of Wind Testing Facility at Florida International University

December 2014 - Permasteelisa Group has joined the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) of the Wall of Wind (WOW), a collaborative project between International Hurricane Research Center (IHRC) and College of Engineering and Computing (CEC) at Florida International University (FIU). This partnership belongs to the continuous improvement process that characterizes the activities of the Permasteelisa Group. Performance tests are a constant for all the projects, and the conditions of the tests may vary depending on the characteristics of the country where the buildings will be built. Nowadays, Permasteelisa’s tests are done in proprietary testing facilities around the world using pressurised test rooms and aircraft engines to simulate the wind effects on the curtain wall.
Now, thanks to the partnership with the WOW, we will be able to reach higher wind loads and therefore better investigate the reaction of our panels in case of extreme wind conditions and, therefore, constantly improve the quality of our solutions. Moreover, Permasteelisa Group is always keen to improve the knowledge about building resilience and energy efficiency, and joining the WOW team, a group of researchers aimed at assessing a better understanding of wind interaction with buildings it’s an important step in this direction. Because of its importance in structural design, in fact, a better understanding of wind action on curtain walls can lead to a better and more cost-effective design; for this reason Permasteelisa Group has decided to join the IAB of the WOW, whose purpose is to support and promote the Wall of Wind and to address its research towards the topics in wind engineering most felt as useful by the industry. 


The 12-fan Wall of Wind is a new and unique facility that allows experimental wind testing of structures at large scale and up to the highest wind speed: it is capable of simulating a Category 5 hurricane, the highest rating on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale, and can be supplemented with wind-driven rain and even with wind-borne debris.
Wind action is the main load affecting the structural design of façades and at the same time, it is one of the most difficult ones to evaluate. Wind is one of the most important topics in structural design of curtain walls, and the one which requires more scientific knowledge to be correctly assessed. Each single square meter of every curtain wall is subject to wind loads, there is no curtain wall component that is not loaded by wind. Hurricanes (or typhoons as called in some parts of the world) are the extreme and most devastating expression of wind action. When dealing with storms, façades are one of the most critical elements and those which can suffer worst damages: hurricane condition cannot be simulated, generally, except in special facilities like WOW.
The Wall of Wind facility has a wide range of capabilities for testing of building components, buildings systems, transportation structures and power and communication systems in accurately simulated hurricane conditions, including wind turbulence effects and rain. The research group operating the facility has developed special analysis procedures for taking data from the tests and translating the results into accurate predictions of wind loads and performance under real life severe wind conditions. The partnership with WOW will improve the Permasteelisa Group capabilities of testing our curtain walls for extreme wind conditions, and will couple with the tests we normally run in our testing facilities around the world for more standard wind loads.


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