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Wall of Wind receives $4 million to expand hurricane and windstorm resilience research

Wall of Wind receives $4 million to expand hurricane and windstorm resilience research

May 31, 2024 at 2:00pm

U.S. Rep. Mario Díaz-Balart on Friday presented FIU’s Wall of Wind with a $4.05 million federal allocation to support windstorm research. The funds are part of a designation from the National Institute of Standards and Technology, facilitated through the support of Díaz-Balart and his dedication to the Windstorm Research Instrumentation and Testing Enhancement project.

The Wall of Wind is dedicated to researching extreme weather, testing future climate scenarios – particularly for Category 5 storms – through simulations. The large-scale hurricane simulator utilizes a 12-fan 8,400 horsepower system capable of generating 157 mph wind speeds with rain intrusion This research analyzes the potential damage levels and devastation caused by extreme hurricane winds.

Researchers use results from Wall of Wind testing to explore solutions that will help mitigate the destruction caused by powerful windstorms. This research provides key insights for enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructure such as residential and commercial buildings.

The additional funding will allow researchers to expand capacity and continue work that could lead to strengthening building code standards for greater resilience to Category 5 storms for homes, businesses and critical infrastructure.  

Thanks to the efforts of the Florida congressional delegation, FIU leads among all universities in Florida for securing congressional earmarks that advance FIU’s leadership in resilient infrastructure, environmental resilience and materials engineering. Members of Congress were successful in securing over $34.5 million in increases at critical research agencies that support FIU research initiatives, including four community project earmarks, such as this one for the Wall of Wind, secured by Diaz-Balart.