Learning Lab

Plan for Unexpected Winds – Gust Predictions to Improve Safety and Operational Efficiency

Plan for Unexpected Winds – Gust Predictions to Improve Safety and Operational Efficiency

Host Info

Contact a Specialist

Ron Chapman
Software Technical Director | Principal
+1.403.232.6771 x6270
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October 09, 2018
12:00 PM, Chicago Time (GMT-5)
60 min


Every year wind gusts create risks during building construction.  Gusts can blow materials off of tall structures, which can then either blow into facades of adjacent buildings, or fall to the ground, potentially harming workers, equipment and the public.  Gusts can also create wind loads on tarps, hoardings or other coverings, jeopardize crane lifts and exceed operation thresholds for cranes, scissor lifts and swing stages.

Wind speeds at anything above a “fresh breeze” basically define the lower limit of safety for a worker.  This same threshold is strong enough to pick up an unsecured sheet of plywood and blow it off a building.  To reduce these risks, construction managers tend to secure tools and materials, increasing costs and reducing efficiency.

The ability to have high quality, accurate, site- and height-specific gust forecasts in advance is advantageous from a safety and security point of view.  This knowledge can also help optimize construction scheduling of safe working conditions, thereby reducing work delays and any associated penalties.

The key components of a gust forecasting system will be introduced, and the features of a system operating in the City of Calgary will be presented.


  1. Learn how local site settings may affect gustiness;
  2. Explore how wind varies with height above the ground surface;
  3. Discover how local obstacles can affect wind speed and gustiness in work zones;
  4. Learn what wind speeds can cause safety issues and operational interruptions; and
  5. See examples of how wind gusts are forecast, how accurate these forecasts are, and how a forecast system is helping the City of Calgary to be a safer place to live and work in.