Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Building a Stronger Roof Over Your Head: 'Three Little Pigs' Project Begins First Tests

27.08.2008
With hurricane season upon us, many wonder if the roof over their heads will hold firm in the face of high winds.

This week, inaugural tests at The University of Western Ontario’s ‘Three Little Pigs’ project at The Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes will begin to provide answers as researchers ‘raze the roof’.

The Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes is the first of its kind in the world to subject full-scale houses to pressures that simulate the effects of winds as strong as a Category 5 hurricane – or 200 mph – all within a controlled environment. Researchers at the $7-million facility will also be studying the destructive pathways of mould and water.

As it is too expensive to engineer an entire house, researchers hope to make them safer through basic additions and amendments, with minimal cost to homeowners. Specifically, researchers will be watching the roof fail to see how load on the house redistributes. This will tell them how failure of the structure occurs and will help answer questions about the adequacy of building codes. Ultimately, different wind damage mitigation strategies and building products will be tested in the facility.

Enclosed in a large, blue steel hanger that can be moved on tracks, the test model is a 1,900 square foot, two-storey, four-bedroom house typical of homes found in southwestern Ontario. 60 pressure boxes used to simulate hurricane-force loads are rigged to a framework that surrounds the house.

These studies build on expertise developed through 40 years of wind tests at the Boundary Layer Wind Tunnel Laboratory at Western, widely regarded as one of the best wind tunnels in the world. The project is also affiliated with Fanshawe College, the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction, Cambridge Consultants, Ltd. and Insurance Bureau of Canada.

Notes to Editors:
Media is invited to watch and film the inaugural tests, which will be performed on a section of the model house’s roof. Note that there will not actually be blowing winds in the building, but rather pressure hoses that will simulate the sucking and blowing pressure created by winds.
Cameras throughout the facility will also record this test. Footage from this and previous tests will be made available to media.

Researcher Greg Kopp will provide a tour of the facility – including up to the roof of the house – prior to the test to explain the study. He will also be available to provide explanations of the damage following the test.

WHEN/WHERE: August 28, 2008, 10:30 a.m. The Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes at the London International Airport

Directions: Take Highway 401 to London and exit at Veteran’s Memorial Parkway (formerly Airport Road). Go north approximately 11 kms, until the Parkways ends at Huron Street. Go east on Huron Street (0.7 km) to the railway crossing – at this point the main road swings north around London International Airport, but keep straight on the smaller paved road, which will come to a dead end after 0.6 km from the railway track.

The Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes is the large blue building on the right. Enter through the gate at the east side of the facility.

FACTS:

The Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes is home to The University of Western Ontario’s ‘Three Little Pigs’ project.
The lab is not a wind tunnel. There is no wind actually blowing through the lab, or at the house built inside the facility.
60 ‘pressure load activators’ create hurricane-force pressure against the house. These pressure boxes include large hoses that are able to suck and blow to simulate the fluctuating force of wind. The pressure is regulated so that each box applies different pressure to simulate turbulent wind coming from different directions and moving across the house. The pressure load actuators were developed specifically for this project and the technology has been patented.
Apart from actually testing a house in a hurricane, these pressure boxes create the most realistic test of how a home would react to such conditions. This kind of testing has never been done before in such a realistic way on a complete house.
The roof of the house will not be completely destroyed; rather, during testing, the roof will move approximately four inches away from the wall. This is a dramatic shift that would essentially be a catastrophic failure and you would, according to researchers be “likely to find your roof on a neighbour’s lawn.” The force of the wind, according to researcher Kopp, is like “turning the house upside down, adding weight to it and shaking it!”
These tests coincide with the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.
History: Funded primarily by the Canada Foundation for Innovation and the Ontario Innovation Trust, construction of The Insurance Research Lab for Better Homes began in 2005.

Media contact: Douglas Keddy, Research Communications Coordinator, The University of Western Ontario, 519-661-2111 ext. 87485

Douglas Keddy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.uwo.ca

Further reports about: Airport Building Insurance Parkway Roof Three Little Pigs hurricane season wind tunnel

More articles from Architecture and Construction:

nachricht Modular storage tank for tight spaces
16.03.2017 | FIZ Karlsruhe – Leibniz-Institut für Informationsinfrastruktur GmbH

nachricht Smart homes will “LISTEN” to your voice
17.01.2017 | EML European Media Laboratory GmbH

All articles from Architecture and Construction >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can we see monkeys from space? Emerging technologies to map biodiversity

An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.

Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Supersensitive through quantum entanglement

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy under real ambient pressure conditions

28.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Mice provide insight into genetics of autism spectrum disorders

28.06.2017 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>