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With the sustainability movement, vegetated building envelopes are gaining more popularity. This requires special wind effect investigations, both from sustainability and resiliency perspectives. The current paper focuses on wind load estimation on small- and full-scale trees used as part of green roofs and balconies. Small-scale wind load assessment was carried out using wind tunnel testing in a global-effect study to understand the interference effects from surrounding structures. Full-scale trees were investigated at a large open-jet facility in a local-effect study to investigate the wind-tree interaction. The effect of Reynolds number combined with shape change on the overall loads measured at the base of the trees (near the roots) has been investigated by testing at different model scales and wind speeds. In addition, high-speed tests were conducted to examine the security of the trees in soil and to assess the effectiveness of a proposed structural mitigation system. Results of current research show that small-scale testing may overestimate wind loading on actual trees when the tests do not account fully for tree-wind interaction. On the other hand, the full-scale testing shows that at higher wind speeds the load coefficients tend to be reduced, limiting the wind loads on trees. No resonance or vortex shedding was visually observed.

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Wind and Structures

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Note: This is the preprint of the manuscript and should be cited as follows.

Aly, A.M. et al. “Wind loading on trees integrated with a building envelope,” Wind and Structures, 17(1), 69-85, 2013. DOI:10.12989/WAS.2013.17.1.069