Full Session with Abstracts
Structural integrity of building subjected to hurricane wind is important because failure of a structural member may cause progressive failure of other components and finally collapse of building due to consistent wind loads on building during the hurricane. Different from earthquake damage, wind damage often comes from out-of-plane wind load in the direction that structural components have low stability and/or weak connections. This study focuses on analyses of building damage due to lack of structural component stabilities and improper installation of connections during hurricane Harvey. The hurricane Harvey made landfall near Rockport, Texas on August 25, 2017 and became the first Category 4. Harvey caused damage to wide range of building types (e.g. mid-rise and low-rise, wood and light-gauge steel) due to its high wind and storm surge.
Through case studies of building damage in the aftermath of hurricane Harvey, lessons learned from collected data and update of low-rise building performance during the hurricane will be presented. The studies showed that due to some nature of low-rise building architectural configurations, buildings might have components that are weak in out-of-plane stability, which under strong wind loads, may cause component collapse or damage. The knowledge learned from the case studies will help to enhance practicing engineers in their design of low-rise buildings for coastal areas where wind loads following by heavy rain and storm surge cause major damage in buildings.
The performance of light-framed structures during extreme events, such as Hurricane Harvey, also critically depends on the connections between structural elements. Structural connections transfer load from one element to another to achieve a continuous load path throughout the structure. These connections are often subject to mis-installs or neglected all together. Identifying the design load path, participating structural elements, and the connections therein are all essential for successful design and construction. One missing component and the structure can become vulnerable to failure.