Muthomi Munyua is a researcher at the Department of Civil and Construction Engineering, School of Engineering, University of Nairobi. Muthomi serves as a member of the Technical Committee 80 (TC-80) of the Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS). TC-80 is responsible for the adoption of the Eurocodes in Kenya.
This paper provides guidance on using existing national parameters with the Eurocodes for determination of wind loads on buildings. The current code of practice allows engineers to use 3-second gusts which end up making the structures unnecessarily robust and uneconomical. This paper argues the case for using sustained wind speeds in the Eurocodes as opposed to wind gusts. The use of sustained wind speeds allows a 30% reduction on the magnitude of wind actions applied to a structure during design and consequently, a reduction in construction costs. Next, this paper demonstrates the method in which the current wind speeds given in 3-second gusts are converted to 10-minute wind speeds. The use of sustained wind speeds allows the engineer to come up with economical designs, thus improving the economic viability of construction projects. This paper provides guidance to applying wind actions on structures according to the Eurocode standard KS EN 1991-1-4.