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Wind engineering as a named specialty within engineering is a little over 50 years old, and yet draws from a much older tradition dating to ancient times as structures struggled to resist one of nature’s most destructive forces.
‘Kit’ Scruton played a role in the evolution of wind engineering from pragmatic provider of wind loading data to ‘prophetic’ predictor of structural response of increasingly complex structures in increasingly chaotic flows. Scruton’s and more recent contributions to this ‘evolution’ will be discussed, with emphasis on the ‘design’ wind storm evolving to encompass the dynamics of thunderstorm and tornadic flows.
As our understanding of wind flow has matured, structural form has also evolved and using nature for inspiration, efficient building forms to resist wind actions are being studied and proposed as potential solutions to the planet’s rapid urbanization. The Saguaro cactus will be presented as one model for wind-resistant tall buildings.
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