About the Wall of Wind

The NHERI Wall of Wind (WOW) Experimental Facility (EF) at Florida International University (FIU) was funded by NSF to be a national facility that enables researchers to better understand wind effects on civil infrastructure systems and to prevent wind hazards from becoming community disasters.

The NHERI WOW EF is powered by a combined 12-fan system capable of repeatable testing in up to 157 mph wind speeds through its flow management system. The unique advantage of the NHERI WOW EF is multi-scale (full-scale to ~1:50) and high Reynolds number simulation of the effects of wind and wind-driven rain. This is accomplished using the twelve fans and a water spray system.

In addition, the 16,000 sqft. fenced-off secure area enables researchers to plan and perform destructive tests for up to Category 5 Hurricane wind speeds. The NHERI WOW EF uses a wide range of equipment, instrumentation, and experimental simulation protocols, as well as a distinguished group of faculty, staff, and a well-trained team comprised of technical and operations personnel that allow for the delivery of world-class research.

The NHERI WOW EF provides the following experimental capabilities:

  • High-speed holistic testing at multiple scales in simulated hurricane wind speeds up to and including Category 5 Hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale
  • Destructive tests to study failure modes
  • Wind-driven rain simulations to study water intrusion
  • Full- and large-scale aerodynamic/aeroelastic testing in atmospheric boundary layer (ABL) flows at high Reynolds numbers
  • Testing under extreme environments to develop innovative mitigation devices
  • Conventional boundary layer wind tunnel testing in flows with various exposures and with full turbulence spectrum