Arup unveils REDi for Extreme Windstorms

Jackie Wei Green Jackie Wei Green Americas Head of Communications,Los Angeles
26 January 2022

New resilience-based design guidelines offer actionable criteria to shape beyond-code resilient building design for extreme wind events.

Arup today launched Resilience-Based Design Initiative (REDi) for Extreme Windstorms, the second in the REDi suite of resilience-based design guidelines after REDi for Earthquakes. Developed in collaboration with numerous industry and academic leaders, REDi for Extreme Windstorms promotes resilient building design and operational preparedness to allow structures to better withstand extreme windstorms worsened by climate change. The guide extends beyond building code provisions to help shape holistically resilient projects, with broader community connectivity, that are both better prepared for the impacts of extreme windstorms and better able to resume or continue normal operations following such an event.

Currently, building codes exist to ensure a minimum level of life safety during extreme events, but they do not address key considerations such as the integrity of non-structural building components, climate change effects, and environmental variables that may potentially damage or impede repair and recovery. By leveraging REDi for Extreme Windstorms, owners and design teams have the guidance they need to enhance structural and non-structural designs using sophisticated techniques and analysis to validate a building’s performance and functionality during and following a hazard event. ” Melissa Burton Melissa Burton Arup Principal and Fellow of Wind Engineering

Initially launched in 2013 for earthquakes, the REDi guidelines are intended to act as a companion to modern building codes, enabling designers to achieve beyond-code resilience objectives. Each set of guidelines is framed around four pillars of resilience-based design — Operational Resilience, Building Resilience, Site Resilience, and Resilience Assessment — which enable owners and designers to deliver buildings which better withstand natural disasters. The guidelines also outline three rating tiers — Silver, Gold, and Platinum — each representing increasing levels of performance during and after events. Platinum- and Gold-rated buildings are designed to be relatively undamaged after major natural disaster events, and Silver-rated buildings are expected to sustain some damage but are designed with measures in place to hasten recovery.

REDi for Extreme Windstorms considers several types of impactful wind hazards and their potential impacts on building integrity and operation. The guidelines address the key mechanisms of wind-induced damage including building envelope and non-structural damage; structural response and failure; damage adjacent to the building that may prevent site access; utility disruption; and wind-driven projectiles and debris. They also guide the design team in implementing the following resilient design considerations:

  • Generation of a cohesive resilience vision among all involved parties

  • Implementation of that vision along axes of operational, site, and physical building resilience

  • Assessment of the design to ensure that the resilience objectives are achieved

By clearly taking design stakeholders through this process, the guidelines ground abstract concepts of resilience into an actionable design guide that can be readily implemented on projects. The ultimate goal is the wide deployment of this design guide toward a more resilient building stock in the face of climate change, benefitting occupants, owners, and the wider community.

Hurricane Florence Hurricane Florence
Hurricane Florence. Image courtesy of NOAA

As climate change increases the frequency of certain high-intensity windstorms, we must prepare our built environment to sustain these impacts and to recover as quickly as possible. We have the tools and the know-how to make buildings and organizations more resilient and REDi for Extreme Windstorms provides our aggregated learnings and best-practice approach in a single guideline for the benefit of designers. ” Ibrahim Almufti headshot Ibbi Almufti Chair of Arup’s global working group on climate risk and resilience

REDi for Extreme Windstorms, as well as the original REDi for Earthquakes guidelines, can be viewed on the newly launched REDi website, which can be found here. Additional REDi guidelines that cover other types of hazards, including REDi for Floods, are anticipated to launch later this year. These guidelines support REDi’s mission to make resilience mainstream. REDi aims to transform the way resilience is measured and implemented in the built environment, lower the barrier to entry for developers, architects, and engineers, and help owners achieve their organizational resilience goals.