Artists question about wind load

andy
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Joined: Wed Sep 19, 2007 3:55 pm

Artists question about wind load

Postby andy » Mon Aug 23, 2010 10:49 pm

I am working on an art installation for 2011 (can't make it this year, unfortunately) which includes several towers, tentatively 4'x4'x10'. I am trying to figure out how to protect them from the wind. There are two special considerations:

(1) the towers are lit from within to glow gently, so they have to be of a translucent material (ie. can't use solid wood walls)

and

(2) the nature of the installation precludes the use of guy wires.

I have been toying with various ideas including a hinged base by which a crew member could quickly lay the towers on their sides in case of a windstorm to minimize the cross section, making sure that the towers are oriented into the prevailing wind (from the SSW on the playa). This does cut the cross section but only by about 60%.

I have also though of building a wind fence that could divert the wind around the collection of towers, but the footprint is about 80 feet across, and the wind load on the fence itself would be enormous (though I could use non-pretty industrial-strength stuff for the fence) and of course if the wind howls from a non-prevailing direction I'm screwed.

It anyone has experience with this I would appreciate hearing from you.

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