Date of Award

8-2014

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Legacy Department

Civil Engineering

Advisor

Dr. Weichiang Pang

Committee Member

Dr. Scott D. Schiff

Committee Member

Dr. Nigel B. Kaye

Committee Member

Dr. Firat Y. Testik

Abstract

An unfortunate global precedent has been set by hurricane wind hazard events that illustrate the importance of building resilient coastal communities. Although community resilience is heavily dependent upon the socioeconomic response of the community before, during, and after a hazard event, it is also dependent on the vulnerability of the community to a disaster. Therefore, one way that structural engineers can assist communities in becoming more resilient is to investigate and implement methods that mitigate the 'initial shock' experienced by a residential development subjected to a hazard event. The focus of this research was to develop a mechanics-based building envelope failure assessment model for light-frame wood construction subjected to hurricane wind hazards, and then assess the performance of a residential development to a 700-year mean recurrence interval hurricane wind event. A component-based approach was taken to develop an integrated building envelope model based on previous research of individual component capacities. Key modules of the building envelope failure assessment model include a hurricane simulation module, a probabilistic three-dimensional wind-borne debris trajectory module, a debris generation module, and a wind-borne debris impact-tracking module. The developed building envelope failure assessment model is capable of providing the time evolution of building envelope damage experienced by the individual buildings within a residential development, and is implemented to investigate how the building stock within a low-rise residential development reacts to various levels of vulnerability. A typical South Carolina (SC) residential development was selected and modeled within the developed building envelope failure assessment model to illustrate how an actual residential development may perform when subjected to hurricane wind hazards. Initially, the building envelopes were assumed constructed using low-capacity building components and techniques to simulate a vulnerable development. Vulnerability was reduced progressively within the residential development by increasing the percentage of homes retrofitted against hurricane wind hazards using currently available retrofit techniques, such as roof sheathing attachment supplemented with closed-cell spray foam, the installation of wind-resistant roof shingles, and the installation of window impact protection. Results confirm that a fully retrofitted residential development demonstrates a more robust performance with the fully retrofitted residential development exhibiting an approximately 49% increase in the final building envelope survival over the unretrofitted residential development. These results have the ability to assist government officials, developers, designers, and homeowners with the information necessary to build more resilient and better-prepared communities exposed to hurricane wind hazard events. There is also the potential for this research to provide insurance companies with the information necessary to set insurance premiums within hurricane-prone regions - which is becoming increasingly more important as more of the global population continues to settle in wind hazard-prone areas.

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