Detection, simulation, modelling and loading of thunderstorm outflows to design wind-safer and cost-efficient structuresERC (European Research Council) Advanced Grant 2016 THUNDERR – 741273
Principal Investigator: Giovanni Solari
Host Institution: Department of Civil, Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Polytechnic School, University of Genoa
Beginning 1 September 2017 – End 31 August 2022
The safety and sustainability of the built with regard to the natural and anthropogenic actions are a primary goal of engineering. The wind is the most destructive natural phenomenon: 70% of the damage and death caused by nature every year in the world comes from the wind. Evaluating its actions is therefore crucial for society and its economy.and its economy.
ABSTRACTThe safety and sustainability of built with regard to natural actions are primary goals of engineering. Wind is the most destructive natural phenomenon: 70% of damage and death caused by nature in the world comes from wind. Evaluating its actions is therefore crucial for society and its economy.
The European climate and that of many countries is dominated by cyclones and thunderstorms. The genesis and the evolution of cyclones is known since the 1920s. Their actions on construction were framed since the 1960s and engineering still uses these models. Thunderstorms are complex and devastating phenomena that result in actions often more intense than cyclonic ones.
Despite this awareness, there is not yet a model of thunderstorm winds and their actions as that established over half century ago for cyclones. This occurs because their complexity makes it difficult to establish realistic and simple models; their short duration and small size limit available measures; there is a clear gap between atmospheric sciences and wind engineering.
This constitutes a shortcoming in structural engineering, as it gives rise to unsafe and/or overly expensive works. The unsafety of small and medium-height light structures is pointed out by their frequent damage and collapse in thunderstorm days. The excessive cost of tall buildings is proved by the low rate of damage and collapse they exhibit due to wind.
The presence in Genoa of a leading wind engineering group with interdisciplinary expertise in atmospheric sciences, the creation of a unique wind monitoring network for previous European projects, the existence of new facilities to simulate large-scale downbursts, CFD developments and a huge network of international co-operations are epochal conditions to overcome these limits and project wind science into a new era.
THUNDERR is an acronym of THUNDERstorm that expresses the innovative Roar of this research. It aims to detect thunderstorms, to create a database of wind records and weather scenarios, to conduct unprecedented laboratory tests and CFD simulations, to formulate a thunderstorm model suitable for atmospheric sciences and structural design, to change the format of wind actions, of engineering practice and of codification, to make building safer and more sustainable, to bring about a profound impact on society and its economy.