CTBUH Member in Focus: Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory

Founded and designed by civil engineering professor Alan G. Davenport, BLWTL was built to test structures in realistic wind conditions in a scaled simulation of the earth’s boundary layer (the section of the atmosphere where the velocity of wind increases with height and air is turbulent and variable), extending upward from the Earth’s surface approximately one kilometer.

The research project trying to find every tornado in Canada

“We advocate for safe houses — something that, if possible, can withstand extreme storms, or if not, something that can rebound quickly and does not compromise on the safety of the public,” says Girma Bitsuamlak, director of the WindEEE Research Institute, which encompasses Western’s three wind engineering laboratories.

Western receives $3.9 million investment for its wind testing facility

“WindEEE is at the forefront of innovative research, creating new ways of measuring, testing, and finding engineering solutions for evolving challenges in wind and climate engineering. This support will help us maintain our leadership in climate and wind engineering research,” said Bitsuamlak.

Is your home ready for the surprising number of tornadoes in Canada ?

WindEEE director, Girma Bitsuamlak, explains to Global News’ Candace Daniel how testing works at the research facility.

At WindEEE, Girma Bitsuamlak and his team study the aerodynamic forces that develop during different wind systems such as tornadoes, hurricanes and downbursts, so that buildings can be designed to withstand them.

“You can design the building environment appropriately … to withstand the tornado load or at least to save lives,” said Bitsuamlak, who is the director of WindEEE.

By Krysia Collyer and Candace Daniel Global News
Published May 13, 2023
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