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Wind Load on Light Pole

Wind Load on Light Pole

Wind Load on Light Pole

I need to know if a rated 90 mph wind load is adequate for aluminum round tapered poles. Height of poles vary from 14 to 25 feet.

RE: Wind Load on Light Pole


The answer to your question unfortunately is not a simple one.

The Basic Wind Speed used to find the wind pressure on your poles is a function of where the poles are geographically located and also what building code governs.  For example, if the BOCA code governs for your project, you would use a map in the code that gives Basic Wind Speeds for each area of the country.  After you have the Basic Wind Speed, a Basic Velocity Pressure is derived from another BOCA chart (If you have a 90 mph basic wind speed, for example, the BOCA chart says you have a Basic Velocity Pressure of 20.7 psf).  To reach the final design pressure to use in checking your pole, the Basic Velocity Pressure is further modified by factors that consider the effects of the pole's shape, its height, and proximity to the ocean.

There are other codes that may help with your pole design, such as the "TIA/EIA-222-F standard for steel antenna towers and antenna supporting structures", or the "Standard Specifications for Structural Supports for Highway Signs, Luminaires and Traffic Signals" by AASHTO.  Some clients specify which one they want.  Check with your client and code official before you start!


RE: Wind Load on Light Pole

Samdamon is right but if your poles have been "rated" to a basic wind speed of 90mph then presumably an engineer has already done the calculations backwards to work out that the maximum basic windspeed is 90mph. This can easily be found from the charts Samdamon refers to.

Carl Bauer

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