An experimental study to assess the effect of soffit louvered vents on wind loads and wind driven rain intrusion on low rise buildings

G. Arch, B. Hajra, M. Moravej, I. Zisis, P. Irwin, A. G. Chowdhury, Wimal Suaris

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Wind-driven rain (WDR) intrusion in buildings during hurricanes often leads to significant damage to building interior and contents, causing major losses. Many buildings in hurricane-prone U.S. coastal states are fitted with soffit vents with louvers that are designed to close during high winds and reduce rain intrusion. This paper focuses on the topic of WDR intrusion through soffit vents and, in particular, studies the effects of louvered soffit vents on (i) reduction of water intrusion, and (ii) overall aerodynamic loading of buildings’ roofs. A gable and a hip roof building retrofitted with open and closed vents were tested at the Wall of Wind (WOW) experimental facility. WDR intrusion studies were carried out only on the hip roof building, while wind pressure distributions were estimated for the gable and hip roof buildings. Results from the WDR intrusion study indicate a marked reduction in water intrusion for the closed vent roofs. Moreover, the net mean and peak pressure coefficients for the closed vent roofs are reduced in magnitude (less suction) compared to the open vent roofs. Future research is recommended to study the effect of different vent sizes and locations, besides considering other roof types (e.g. mono-slope).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)43-55
Number of pages13
JournalSustainable Cities and Society
StatePublished - Oct 1 2017



  • Gable roof
  • Hip roof
  • Pressure coefficient
  • Vent with louver
  • Wall of Wind
  • Wind driven rain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Civil and Structural Engineering
  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Transportation

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