CROSS Safety Alert
Wind adjacent to tall buildings
Reports to CROSS have raised concerns about the design of temporary works to resist wind loading in urban environments. Temporary works have suffered local wind damage, and it is suspected that is, in part, because wind loads have not been determined correctly.
Designers of temporary structures should consider how the environment around a temporary structure will change during the construction process. Different stages in the construction of a tall building may introduce blockage effects that alter or funnel wind flow and give the critical design case for wind loading.
Wind around tall buildings can lead to unpleasant (and sometimes dangerous) conditions for pedestrians.
Note: this Safety Alert was published by SCOSS (Standing Committee on Structural Safety). Since March 2021, SCOSS is integrated under the name Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures (CROSS).
Who should read this?
Those who design or commission temporary structures that are subject to wind loading and adjacent to tall buildings. Architects and designers, civil and structural engineers, temporary works designers.
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I read the CROSS alert on low level wind effects near tall buildings with some interest. It’s something I have always tried to raise awareness of within our profession as I do not believe it is given the attention it deserves, so well done for creating the alert on it. My only comment on it would be the lack of real world examples cited in the alert. The BBC wrote an excellent piece about it earlier this year that described a series of examples where high winds around the base of tall buildings has led to injuries and sometimes even death. Here’s a link to it: http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-33426889.