Scott Orr publishes research on wind-driven rain & effect on built heritage

SEAHA student Scott Allan Orr has recently published two research papers on wind-driven rain and the effect on built heritage. Orr’s research has also been featured in The Sunday Times.

Wind-driven rain is a prominent environmental risk to built heritage, but while predicted climate changes are well established, it has been until now uncertain how this will manifest in wind-driven rain.

In the research, Orr and his co-authors combine weather generator predictions with a probabilistic process to create a time series of climate parameters under a high-emissions scenario for 2070-2099 at eight UK sites. They predict that in the late twenty-first century, rain spells will have higher volumes thus impacting façades across all 8 sites and that damage to buildings will occur more frequently.

Periods of wind-driven rain are predicted to become shorter but more intense, posing challenges to infrastructure that could be very costly if they are not managed properly. Of particular concern is the impact on traditional and heritage buildings, as the materials they are built from can be deteriorated by rain in several ways. 

Scott Orr

Orr and his co-authors are therefore proposing that new metrics for wind-driven must be developed to manage future impacts, with Orr commenting that “we need to ensure that the standards used to evaluate wind-driven rain in this country are incorporating current knowledge and state-of-the-art methods.”

Wind-driven rain implications for built heritage in the UK

Wind-driven rain implications for built heritage in the UK

Read the two papers below:

‘Wind-driven rain and future risk to built heritage in the United Kingdom: Novel metrics for characterising rain spells’,  Science of the Total Environment.

‘Characterisation of building exposure to wind-driven rain in the UK and evaluation of current standards’Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics.

Scott Allan Orr is a SEAHA student based at the School of Geography and Environment at the University of Oxford. Supported by Historic Environment Scotland and Consarc Design Group, his research assesses exposure and response of historic stone masonry to wind-driven rain, using climate models and non-destructive testing.