Research leader

John Ginger
Prof John Ginger Research Leader
Dr David Henderson Research Leader

End User representatives

Leesa Carson
Leesa Carson End-Users
Duncan McLuckie End-Users
Myles Fairbairn
Myles Fairbairn End-Users
Ross Pritchard End-Users
Elliott Simmons
Elliott Simmons End-Users
Greg Howard
Greg Howard End-Users
Greg Buckley End-Users
Eamonn Lennon End-Users

Research team

Mark Edwards
Mark Edwards Research Team
Martin Wehner Research Team
Dr Geoff Boughton Research Team
Daniel Smith
Dr Daniel Smith Research Team
Dr John Holmes Research Team

Student researchers

Korah Parackal
Korah Parackal Student Reseachers
Mitchell Humphreys Student Reseachers

Typically, older Australian houses built prior to the mid-1980s do not offer the same level of performance and protection during severe wind as houses constructed to contemporary building standards. Given that these existing older houses will represent the bulk of the housing stock for many decades, practical structural upgrading solutions based on the latest research will make a significant improvement to housing performance during storms, and to the economic and social well-being of the community.

This project is developing the evidence base for risk mitigation by devising simple practical and economic upgrading options for existing houses. The outcomes will promote retrofit investment by home owners and provide a basis for incentives to encourage this action through insurance and government initiatives.

The primary objective is to develop cost-effective strategies for mitigating damage to housing from severe windstorms across Australia. Outputs from this project will target a range of end users, from policy development through to homeowners and builders on recommended actions to improve resilience of existing housing. The uptake of the research will reduce the cost of natural disasters in Australia.

The project has collected and analysed information from the impacts of tropical cyclones and thunderstorms, which will provide valuable input into the development of vulnerability modelling. It has published reports on recent events including the 2014 Brisbane thunderstorm, 2015 tropical cyclones Nathan, Marcia and Olwyn, and 2017’s Cyclone Debbie.

Storms outside of the tropics are also part of the study, with the team conducting surveys in Adelaide and Canberra. The geometry of houses in south east Australia is the least understood, and to address this the team undertook a desktop examination using aerial imagery and Google Street View of 467 houses in Canberra to determine the most common geometries from houses constructed in the 1960s.

The team has also collaborated with the insurance company Suncorp to analyse 25,000 insurance claims from cyclones Larry (2006) and Yasi (2011), with the purpose of gaining a better understanding of the drivers of cyclone damage.

The project will categorise residential structures into types based on building features that influence windstorm vulnerability using Geoscience Australia and Cyclone Testing Station survey data. From these a suite will be selected to represent those contributing most to windstorm risk.

The project has engaged heavily with key stakeholders and will continue to involve end-users and stakeholders (homeowners, builders, regulators, insurers) to assess amendments and provide feedback on practicality, cost-effectiveness and aesthetics of potential upgrading methods for a range of buildings. A webinar series has also been piloted, allowing home owners to understand the importance of making appropriate decisions at various stages of the building process, and providing information on various aspects of building to resist wind loads for builders, certifiers and designers to become aware of issues that have caused failures previously.

Vulnerability models will be developed for each retrofit strategy using survey data, the authors’ existing vulnerability models, and the NEXIS database of Australian housing characteristics. Case studies will be used to evaluate effectiveness of proposed retrofit solutions in risk reduction. Economic assessment using these case studies will be used to promote uptake of practical retrofit options.

Year Type Citation
2018 Conference Paper Henderson, D., Smith, D. & Ginger, J. Large damage bills to buildings from cyclones can be reduced by small actions. AFAC18 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
2018 Conference Paper Bates, J. Research proceedings from the 2018 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2017 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2018).
2018 Journal Article Parackal, K., Ginger, J. & Henderson, D. Wind load fluctuations on roof batten to rafter/truss connections. Journal of Wind Engineering & Industrial Aerodynamics 175, (2018).
2017 Report Boughton, G. N. et al. Tropical Cyclone Debbie: damage to buildings in the Whitsunday Region. Technical report (James Cook University, Cyclone Testing Station) (James Cook University, 2017). at <https://www.jcu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0009/461178/TC-Debbie-report.pdf>
2017 Report Henderson, D. et al. Improving the resilience of housing to severe wind events: annual project report 2016-17. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2017).
2017 Report Kloetzke, T. et al. Severe wind hazard preliminary assessment: Tropical Cyclone Debbie, Whitsunday Coast, Queensland, Australia. (James Cook University, 2017). at <https://www.jcu.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/422951/TC-Debbie-Rapid-Assessment-Report_v8.pdf>
2016 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2016 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2016 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Conference Paper Harwood, J., Smith, D. J. & Henderson, D. Building community cyclone resilience through academic and community partnership. AFAC16 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2016 Journal Article Smith, D., McShane, C., Swinbourne, A. & Henderson, D. Towards effective mitigation strategies for severe wind events. The Australian Journal of Emergency Management 31, (2016).
2016 Journal Article Satheeskumar, N., Henderson, D. J., Ginger, J. D. & Wang, C. H. Wind uplift strength capacity variation in roof-to-wall connections of timber-framed houses. Journal of Architectural Engineering 22, (2016).
2016 Journal Article Leitch, C. J., Ginger, J. D. & Holmes, J. D. Wind loads on solar panels mounted parallel to pitched roofs, and acting on the underlying roof. Wind and Structures 22, 307-328 (2016).
2016 Report Smith, D. et al. Improving the resilience of existing housing to severe wind events: Annual project report 2015-2016. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2016).
2015 Conference Paper Rumsewicz, M. Research proceedings from the 2015 Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC conference. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC & AFAC annual conference 2015 (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Conference Paper Henderson, D. & Ginger, J. D. Improving the Resilience of Existing Housing to Severe Wind Events Conference Paper 2014. Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC and AFAC Wellington Conference 2014 (2015).
2015 Journal Article Smith, D., Henderson, D. & Terza, L. M. Modelling cyclone loss mitigation using claims analysis. (2015).
2015 Journal Article Smith, D., Roueche, D., Thompson, A. P. & Prevatt, D. O. A vulnerability assessment tool for residential structures and extreme wind events. (2015).
2015 Report Smith, D., Henderson, D. J., Ginger, J. D. & Wehner, M. Improving the resilience of existing housing to severe wind events: Annual project report 2014-2015. (Bushfire and Natural Hazards CRC, 2015).
2015 Report Henderson, D. Improving the Resilience of Existing Housing to Severe Wind Events Annual Report 2014. (2015).
2014 Journal Article Smith, D., Masters, F. J. & Gurley, K. R. An historical perspective on the wind resistance of clay and concrete roofing tiles. RCI Interface 32, 22-35 (2014).
Improving the resilience of existing housing to severe wind events
25 Aug 2014

Typically, older houses do not offer the same level of performance and protection during windstorms as houses constructed to contemporary building standards. 

Key Topics
Improving the Resilience of Existing Housing to Severe Wind Events
18 Aug 2015

Many of us live in homes with vulnerabilities that contribute to community wind risk. This project aims to investigate windstorm risk mitigation by: (A) Developing vulnerability models for structural strength of housing from field and laboratory observations, and (B) Evaluating potential upgrading and retrofitting solutions for residential structures.

Download
Daniel Smith Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016

Many of us live in homes with vulnerabilities that contribute to community wind risk.

Mitchell Humphreys Conference Poster 2016
12 Aug 2016

Internal pressures can contribute to a large portion of the net wind load on a building.

Improving the resilience of existing housing to severe wind events
29 Jun 2017

This project aims to investigate windstorm risk mitigation by: (a) developing vulnerability models for structural strength of housing from field and laboratory observations and (b) evaluating potential upgrading and retrofitting solutions for residential structures.

Improving the resilience of existing housing to severe wind events
19 Sep 2018

This project aims to investigate and reduce damage from windstorms by developing vulnerability models for structural strength of housing from field and laboratory observations to allow evaluation of cost effective strategies, and producing retrofitting solutions and guides for home owners and builders.