OSU Research Shows Scale Models Effective for Predicting Storm Damage to Wood-Frame Buildings


The research showed that a remote sensing method known as LiDAR could track damage progression on structures as the waves and storm surges increased in intensity.

A pair of scale model structures subjected to simulated storm conditions in an Oregon State University lab responded like real wood-frame homes during recent hurricanes, suggesting model buildings can yield important design information for low-lying areas vulnerable to storm surges and big waves.

“We wanted to establish a way to build scaled wood-frame specimens that would behave, and ultimately fail, under wave loading like their full-scale counterparts have been observed to,” said Sean Duncan, who led the study as a graduate research assistant with the Oregon State College of Engineering.

“And we also set out to develop an equation that could predict the distribution of the uplift pressure on elevated structures. We were able to accomplish both of those goals.”

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Image via Oregon State University