Experimental data of wind pressures on the Space Needle

Published: 15 March 2024| Version 3 | DOI: 10.17632/8pxgdp7cn7.3


Building codes worldwide rely on wind tunnel tests of scale models to characterize peak wind loads. Numerous previous studies have identified shortcomings associated with scaled testing in an idealized inflow. Gathering absolute pressure data on a real-world high rise building unlocks better understanding of peak loading. This dataset contains over 1000 hours of pressure time series obtained on the roof of the Space Needle, an 184 m tall observation deck in Seattle, WA. The data shows how full-scale measurements can be used to generate insights into peak pressures and their dependence on approach wind characteristics. The measurements reveal a windward separation region with strong dependency of the approach wind turbulence on the pressure statistics, but positive skewness limits the peak values. The skewness becomes negative near the edge of a second, leeward separation region, resulting in peak factors up to 2-3 times larger than the North American code-prescribed value of 3.4. Measurements were obtained with absolute sensors onboard a network of custom dataloggers, together with anemometers to characterize wind. Reference pressure and accelerometer measurements are also supplied. Both raw time series and processed Cp statistics for 10-minute intervals are included here. Refer to README.md for a detailed description of the data.


Steps to reproduce

The placement of the motes and other sensors is detailed in the README.md file, and in associated publications.


Stanford University


Civil Engineering, Wind Loading