The weather is one of the main threats in construction, and only a monitoring system can tell if wind conditions are safe for work. Human perception of the weather is subjective, and project risks cannot be managed based on perception. High-rise constructions and projects with tower cranes are especially vulnerable to strong winds.
Meteorologists measure three main attributes that characterise the wind: Speed, direction and turbulence. Wind measurements in sensitive applications must follow stringent standards, such as the IEC 61400 for wind turbines and the BSI EN 13000 for tower cranes.
Understanding the difference between wind speed and turbulence is very important. While speed simply tells how fast the wind is moving, turbulence describes how steady or chaotic the wind is:
Wind speed and direction are evident, since they are measured directly: anemometers measure speed, while weather vanes measure wind direction. Measuring turbulence is not so simple, since it must be calculated from ongoing changes in wind speed.
You need a weather monitoring system with computing power to calculate wind turbulence. Knowing that a 10 mph wind is blowing from the north is useful, but also knowing that the turbulence intensity is 15% is even better.
There is no doubt that a strong wind is dangerous for construction workers, and even for cranes and unfinished structures. However, turbulence gets less attention, but it also creates risks:
When a project involves cranes or any type of work at height, consider that wind speed and turbulence change with altitude.
Wind speed can be estimated at any height based on a few measurements, but this is not possible for turbulence, due to its random and chaotic nature. Turbulence must be monitored directly at every point of interest, based on the variation of wind speed.
We are always happy to talk about wind and weather, if you want to discuss any aspects of it or wondering if your project could benefit from a more advanced wind monitoring system, have a chat with us. We’ll help as much as we can regardless of any business.