Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Mechanical and Civil Engineering

First Advisor

Jean-Paul Pinelli

Second Advisor

Nezamoddin Nezamoddini-Kachouie

Third Advisor

Albert M. Bleakley

Fourth Advisor

Rodrigo Mesa Arango


This dissertation focuses on mid/high-rise commercial residential buildings (MHRB) vulnerable to wind-driven rainwater ingress during hurricanes. The author developed the WHIP-MHRB model, a new probabilistic vulnerability model funded by the Wind Hazard Infrastructure Performance Center (WHIP-C). This model combines the estimates of rainwater ingress, distribution and propagation, and damage assessments, and time-related expenses (TRE) predictions for MHRB during hurricanes. Embedded within WHIP-MHRB is the WHIP-TRE model, which forecasts repair times, delay times, downtime, and recovery times post-hurricane explicitly.

Furthermore, taking advantage of the new model, this study presents two approaches to address the combined wind and rain vulnerabilities of MHRB during hurricanes. One approach decouples wind and rain hazard models from the vulnerability model, while the other integrates the rain hazard model within it. The dissertation explores the mathematical and conceptual aspects of each approach, comparing their outputs and discussing their respective strengths and weaknesses. These modeling strategies can be extended to other multi-hazard events, offering broader applications beyond hurricanes.

Additionally, a sensitivity analysis using the Morris method identifies key model parameters, some of which can be randomized in future research.

These new MHRB models try to mimic physical and organizational processes, and should produce more realistic estimates of damages and losses, as well as facilitate the evaluation of the effectiveness of mitigation measures.


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