Numerical And Experimental Analysis Of Bushfire-Enhanced Wind And Its Effects On Buildings

This Australian Research Council funded project studies the effect of bushfire-enhanced wind, is being run by Prof. Kenny Kwok, Dr. Yaping He, CIE PhD student Esmaeel Eftekharian, with CIE's Dr. Ghodrat collaborating on the project since June 2017. The main objective is to numerically and analytically identify and quantify the relative contribution of the mechanism contributing to the generation of bushfire-wind enhancement. This research also aims to quantify the effects of bushfire-wind interaction to predict the consequences in terms of changes in velocity profile and pressure coefficient for known wind strength and bushfire intensity.

Bushfire protection studies, particularly those that focus on the bushland-urban interface fire protection, can generally fall into two areas: the relationship between bushfire severity and environmental conditions, and the mechanism of damage by bushfire. While many studies have treated wind as the primary driving force for fire spread, the enhancement of wind by bushfires and the damage to buildings by the resultant aerodynamic loading, combined with other bushfire attack mechanisms, have been largely overlooked. The lack of considerations for bushfire-enhanced wind and the combined action imposed on buildings subjected to bushfire attacks is evident in the relevant Australian building standards. Hence, a comprehensive study on bushfire-wind-structure interaction is urgently needed.

Once this has been achieved, pressure loads acting on different building configurations will be studied in detail to develop correlations between wind load, wind speed, bushfire intensity, building configuration and site terrain.

The models which have been developed in this study can be applied to improve the current version of building standards which do not take into account the effects of the bushfire-wind enhancement phenomenon. Improved standards will result in buildings that are more resistant to major bushfire attacks, which will yield huge socio-economic rewards.

Doctor Maryam Ghodrat

Postdoctoral Research Fellow

Research interests include: Recycling and sustainability, process modelling, thermodynamic analysis, life cycle assessment of recyclable materials , advanced material and material for energy.