Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mechanical and Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Jean-Paul Pinelli

Second Advisor

Ju Zhang

Third Advisor

Nakin Suksawang

Fourth Advisor

Ashok Pandit


Hurricanes can lead to the loss of millions of dollars and the death of hundreds of people. The increasing concentration of people in coastal cities, exacerbates this problem and results in greater hurricane damage to residential buildings. In particular, recent hurricanes in Florida have shown the vulnerability of mid/high-rise buildings (MHRB) to hurricane-induced water ingress. However, few damage models are able to produce realistic estimates of interior damage. To accurately estimate the interior and contents damage of mid/high-rise buildings due to water ingress during hurricanes, this thesis proposes a new physics-based methodology, which extends the results of previous work on low-rise buildings. The methodology combines estimates of impinging and surface run-off wind driven rain, envelope defects and breaches, and interior water distribution and propagation, plus component cost analyses to produce realistic estimates of interior and contents damage in mid/high-rise buildings. The physics of the mechanisms of rainwater ingress, distribution, and propagation, provide the basis for the methodology to achieve more realistic and credible interior and contents damage models. Once implemented in a cat model, such methodology shall result in better loss predictions and shall facilitate the evaluation of the effectiveness of mitigation measures. The thesis also provides the complete flow charts, which detail the logic of the internal and contents damage models for both one-of-a-kind buildings and for building classes. The flow charts are language independent, so programmers with different background can easily code them.


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