With the now overwhelming evidence of climate change seeming to have removed any remnant of scepticism, it is essential for engineers to be able to tackle the consequences and challenges of a warming planet. One consequence is the increase in frequency and severity of storms and the strength of winds that they bring. Understanding the effects of higher wind speeds on new and existing structures is the crux of this book. Although first published 20 years ago, this edition is 25% longer than the last and much of the additional material covers the impacts of climate change.
This has to be the ultimate in reference books on wind and aerodynamics, covering the breadth and depth of the subject from a detailed narrative on meteorology to the detailed analyses that are now possible using computational fluid dynamics. Detailed records and statistics are provided for specific wind events; for example, the number of tornadoes in the USA totalled almost 25,000 from 2001 to 2019, claiming almost 1,400 lives.
There is an excellent chapter on the translation of actual wind events into design codes and, recognising the variety of international standards, an appendix summarises wind classifications for the design of structures in 143 countries. After dealing with actual wind events, the authors go on to consider the effects on every conceivable building or structure with a chapter dedicated to each.
The bridge chapter begins with a commentary on some notable wind induced collapses, from the 1855 collapse of Roebling’s Wheeling Bridge to the ubiquitous Tacoma Narrows in 1940. Longer-span bridges are well covered, recognising the leap in understanding arising from the Tacoma collapse, where wind and structural excitations combined to produce aeroelastic forces as a result of vortex shedding, combining causes and effects which had not previously been understood. The chapter goes on to discuss mitigation measure such as wind shielding to protect vehicles from local effects and the use of fairings to reduce wind induced vibrations on older decks designed with minimal consideration of aerodynamics. Lastly, attention focuses on bridge cables and especially another relatively recently understood phenomenon, rain-wind vibration, and design options for managing it.
As with other chapters, the number of references is impressive. There are 56 for the bridge chapter alone, giving the reader the opportunity to dig deeper into specific topics. That said, there may be some disappointment for the bridge engineer as there are just 21 pages in this chapter out of over 600 pages of text in total.
Overall, the book is well set out and it is relatively easy to find subjects of interest. There are clear diagrams and formulae but the photographs, albeit there are not that many of them, are all black and white and often too small or indistinct. This minor criticism, however, should not detract from the value of this book as a source of information not only for the wind specialists but also the designers needing to better understand the natural forces on their structures and how to ensure that they are able to withstand everything that nature can throw at them.