The RenaissanceRe Wall of Wind

RenaissanceRe is committed to investing in and supporting cutting-edge weather risk research like the Wall of Wind so that we may help both our clients and storm-exposed communities to gain a better understanding of their vulnerabilities to storm hazards and, ultimately, to build safer, more resilient communities.

  • The RenaissanceRe Wall of Wind (WOW) is a public-private partnership between RenaissanceRe, WeatherPredict Consulting, and the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University in Miami.
  • The WOW revolutionized wind engineering research by replicating the effects of Category 4 Hurricane winds and rain on full-scale residential structures and building components in a laboratory environment.
  • The WOW consists of 6 modular steel rectangular units housing Chevrolet ZZ502 Big Block crate engines. Each engine drives 2 counter-rotating 80 inch propellers creating a cross-sectional wind field 24 feet wide by 16 feet high.

WOW has been featured on TV, in newspapers, magazines and scientific journals: Newsweek: “Building a Hurricane-Proof House”, 10/22/07 Discovery Channel: “Wall of Wind”, 10/10/07 ABC World News Tonight with Charles Gibson, 9/21/07 Wall Street Journal: “From Fans’ Whirlwind, Researchers Reap Data to Brace Homes”, 8/7/07 USA Today: “Man-made Storms to Test Houses”, 8/15/07 New Scientist: “Masters of Disaster”, 9/07 Tech Decisions: “Winds of Change”, 7/07