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Civil Engineering/Wind Tunnel Analysis


Hello sir,
I would like you to point to me, what is a wind tunnel?

When do we go to wind tunnel analysis to get the wind forces? What are the advantages, and disadvantages (if any) of undergoing wind tunnel analysis?

Do you know any software that deals with this issue? If you do, what differs between doing such analysis on a software or in a tunnel?

Any .pdf files, any links, etc... would be much appreciated.

Thanks :)

Hi Mohammad,

A wind tunnel is a building made like a huge tube (around 2-3m diameter) which has a large fan at one end to create wind flow at varying velocities. In the middle of that one can place models of buildings or other items (planes, cars, etc) to assess the effcts of wind interacting with the structure or item.

For buildings, if the structure is either complex in shape or very tall/slender and hence susceptible to dynamic wind effects, one uses a wind tunnel to get a much better estimate of wind loading and secondary effects such as vortex shedding, galloping etc. Such estimates of response to wind loading cannot be easily obtained by formulae in codes of practice.

The main disadvantage of wind tunnel tests is that they are expensive to conduct and take quite a bit of time.

Some CFD software can simulate effects of wind tunnel loading (such as CFDesign)but its accuracy is questionable. Check this website for more details:  

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Arshad Khan


I can answer any questions to do with civil and structural engineering consultancy and construction industry in East Africa and the Middle East, and specifically with the analysis and design of reinforced concrete structures. My particular expertise is in the aseismic design and optimisation of tall buildings.


Employment history: 40 years in Construction and consultancy in the UK, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Africa, Somalia, Zambia, Austria, Bahrain, Kuwait, Doha and the U.A.E.

.Fellow of Institution of Structural Engineers (UK) .Fellow of Institution of Civil Engineers(UK) .Member of the Institution of Engineers, Kenya .Registered Engineer, ERB, Kenya .Member of the Architectural Association of Kenya (Engineers Chapter) .Chartered Engineer (UK)

•1984: International Conference on the Art and Practice of Structural Design, London •1994: 3rd Int. Kerensky Conference in Structural Engineering, Singapore •2008: International Conference on High-Rise Towers, Abu Dhabi •2013: IEK International Conference, Kisumu, Kenya

BSc, 1st Class Hons, in Building Engineering, University of Bath, UK MSc in Concrete Structures and Technology, University of London. Diploma of Imperial College, UK.

Awards and Honors
•Science Congress Special Award (for 2-seater Hovercraft - 1968) •Institution of Civil Engineers Award for outstanding performance at Bath University (1975) •Concrete Society Postgraduate study Bursary Award (1976) •Consular Representative for British High Commission, Nairobi. (1995 to 1998) •Examiner for Institution of Civil Engineers Professional Interviews, Nairobi. (1997 to 1998) •Branch Representative in Vienna for PI assessment for Inst. of Struct. Engrs. (1999 to 2010)

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