Counteracting high winds with low pressure: Development and testing of a new roof vent system
Grant, Elizabeth J.
Jones, James R.
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Roof system failures are common during high wind events. In locations subject to high wind conditions, membrane roofing systems must typically be either physically attached or fully adhered to the substrate or ballast may be added to weigh down the membrane. An alternative to these installation approaches could be to use aerodynamics principles such as the Bernoulli and Venturi effects to create a low-pressure region beneath the membrane roof that is lower than the ambient pressure and thus counteracts the uplifting force. A new omnidirectional vent has been designed and tested that takes advantage of these aerodynamics principles to induce low pressure under the membrane layer. This new vent operates with no moving parts and was tested in the high-speed stability wind tunnel at Virginia Tech to wind speeds up to 233 km/h. The results demonstrate that this new vent generates pressures lower than the ambient when subjected to high wind conditions. This paper presents the design principles and performance test results for this new roof vent system and other applications for roof vent technologies.