Membrane structures are typically used as sheltering or facade element, which causes that these constructions are subject to external loads such as wind loading. Therefore, these structures must be designed to resist these external conditions, concerning both 'service limit state’ and ‘ultimate limit state’. However, Standards for the calculation and dimensioning of lightweight structures subjected to wind loading do not exist currently. To have a realistic analysis of the wind loading, wind tunnel tests can be performed for each design. However, for many projects (due to the lack of resources or time) the wind analysis will be based on rough approximations by relying on conventional shapes from the Eurocodes. In addition, the exact structural behaviour of membrane structures under wind loading is not well known, with designing unsafe structures as risk. Consequently, the currently used conservative static approach results in imprecisely dimensioned membrane structures onto which very high safety factors (up to a factor of five) are applied with the aim to achieve robust constructions. This PhD research will analyse the wind-structure interactions for membrane constructions. Their behaviour under wind loading will be assessed by means of wind tunnel tests and numerical simulations, taking into account various typologies, shapes and membrane materials. The objective is to develop an appropriate analysis method, improve safety and standardisation, and to stimulate innovation.
Effective start/end date1/10/1530/09/19

    Research areas

  • tensile surface structures, Architecture

    Flemish discipline codes

  • Interior architecture not elsewhere classified

ID: 9125763