As a keen amateur cyclist that lives in a windy coastal area, I always try to plan my routes beforehand to minimize my wind exposure. No matter how carefully I plan, it regularly happens that I find myself at the end of a long ride, with my ‘fuel running low’, pedaling into a block headwind. It is at times like these that I am stunned (and humbled) by the power and the force required to move myself through the wind.
If you only consider lateral loads and keep it super-simplistic, a 10 km/h wind (at sea level) generates a load of 47 N/m2. If you double the wind speed the load increases by 4 times to 188 N/m2. Double the wind speed again to 40 km/h and the load increases by 16 times. At gusts of 70 km/h (that we often see in our area) the load is 49 times more than it would have been at 10 km/h!
In other words, wind loads are non-linear to wind speeds and outdoor structures need to allow for this.
In my rookie years in the signage industry I often found myself looking in awe at structures or base castings and wondering why it was reinforced and built comparable to military tanks. I do not wonder about it anymore. We can and should never underestimate how strong nature can be.
At First African we understand that wind loads influence all signage and cladding designs and applications. We understand the vital need to include it as a critical element in every outdoor application we design and the importance of getting the Maths related to it spot-on.
So whether you are tackling your next DIY project or planning your brand’s signage or cladding, remember to always take the wind into account and make sure that whoever supports you with it appreciates it as well.
May the wind be at your back today.