JDR Vol.8 No.6 pp. 1103-1113
doi: 10.20965/jdr.2013.p1103

Survey Report:

Wind Resistance of Vented Vinyl and Aluminum Soffit Panel Systems

C. L. Alexander*, F. J. Masters*, M. J. Morrison**,
and S. Bolton*

*Department of Civil and Coastal Engineering, University of Florida, 365 Weil Hall, Gainesville, FL 32611, USA

**Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Western Ontario

July 8, 2013
October 31, 2013
December 1, 2013
soffit, wind, hurricane, simulation, full-scale

This paper addresses the wind load resistance of straight and corner sections of aluminum and vinyl vented soffits. Multiple post-storm damage assessments have documented their failure on low-rise buildings. This study used a pressure loading actuator system to apply quasi-static (ramp) and dynamic wind loading derived from wind tunnel measurements to conventional soffit systems in order to determine failure pressures. The results indicate that shorter overhangs are expected to perform well, even in very severe tropical cyclones. However, longer overhang soffits fail at significantly lower pressures. Corner sections appear to be more susceptible to wind loading than straight sections; additional guidance regarding installation (especially for corner installations) and product approval is warranted.

Cite this article as:
C. L. Alexander, F. J. Masters, M. J. Morrison, and
and S. Bolton, “Wind Resistance of Vented Vinyl and Aluminum Soffit Panel Systems,” J. Disaster Res., Vol.8, No.6, pp. 1103-1113, 2013.
Data files:
  1. [1] K. R. Gurley and F. J. Masters, “Post 2004 hurricane field survey of residential building performance,” Natural Hazards Review, Vol.12, pp. 177-183, 2011.
  2. [2] CTS, “Tropical Cyclone Yasi. structural damage to buildings,” Technical Report No.57, Cyclone Testing Station, 2011, Available at
  3. [3] FEMA, “Mitigation assessment team report: Hurricane Charley in Florida, observations, recommendations, and technical guidance,” FEMA Rep. No.488, FEMA,Washington, D.C., 2005.
  4. [4] FEMA, “Summary report on building performance, Hurricane Katrina 2005,” FEMA Rep. No.548, FEMA, Washington, D.C., 2006.
  5. [5] Australian Building Codes Board, “National Construction Code,” Canberra, 2011.
  6. [6] Standards Australia, “AS/NZS1170.2 – Wind Actions,” Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, 2002.
  7. [7] ASTM D5206-06a, “Standard test method for windload resistance of rigid plastic siding,” West Conshohocken, PA: American Society of Testing and Materials, 2010.
  8. [8] ASTM E330-02, “Standard test method for structural performance of exterior windows, doors, skylights and curtain walls by uniform static air pressure difference,” West Conshohocken, PA: American Society of Testing and Materials, 2010.
  9. [9] FBC, “Criteria for testing impact resistant building envelope components using uniform static air pressure,” Testing Application Standard (TAS), 202-94. Florida Building Code, 1994.
  10. [10] FBC, “Criteria for testing products subject to cyclic wind pressure loading,” Testing Application Standard (TAS), 203-94, Florida Building Code, 1994.
  11. [11] ASCE 7-05, “Minimum design loads for buildings and other structures,” Reston, VA: American Society of Civil Engineers, 2006.
  12. [12] P. J. Vickery, “Component and cladding wind loads for soffits,” Journal of Structural Engineering, Vol.134, No.5, pp. 846-853, 2008.
  13. [13] G. A. Kopp, M. J. Morrison, E. Gavanski, D. J. Henderson, and H. P. Hong, “The Three Little Pigs’ Project: hurricane rick mitigation by integrated wind tunnel and full-scale laboratory tests,” Natural Hazards Review, pp. 151-161, November, 2010.
  14. [14] P. J. Vickery, F. J. Masters, M. D. Powell, and D. Wadheraa, “Hurricane hazard modeling: the past, present and future,” Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, Vol.97, Nos.7-8, pp. 392-405, 2009.
  15. [15] VSI, “Vinyl siding installation manual,” Washington, D.C., Vinyl Siding Institute, 2007,
    Available at
  16. [16] N. J. Cook, A. P. Keevil, R. K. Stobart, “BRERWULF – the big bad wolf,” Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, Vol.29, pp. 99-107, 1988.
  17. [17] J. Lieblein, “Efficient methods of extreme value methodology,” Washington, DC, US National Bureau of Standards Report No. NBSIR 74-602, 1974.
  18. [18] L. M. St. Pierre, G. A. Kopp, D. Surry, T. C. E. Ho, “The UWO contribution to the NIST aerodynamic database for wind loads on low buildings: part 2. Comparison of data with wind load provisions,” Journal of Wind Engineering and Industrial Aerodynamics, Vol.93, pp. 31-59, 2005.

*This site is desgined based on HTML5 and CSS3 for modern browsers, e.g. Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge, Opera.

Last updated on Mar. 05, 2021