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Your help is requested with the following wind loading situation. 

I have five identical buildings, spaced 16 feet apart. Building height
is 120 feet. Building width is 60 feet - this is the dimension
perpendicular to the wind direction. The dimension parallel to the wind
direction is 20 feet. The buildings are in perfect alignment, such that
the first one effectively shields the other four. 

Normally, we would design one of the five buildings treated as a
self-supporting entity subjected to full wind loading, then simply build
five such structures, with or without interconnecting struts. The
client, of course, understands the cost implications of this approach.

This time, it's different - the client insists that we take advantage of
wind load reduction due to shielding, and wants the five buildings to be
interconnected and treated as one large structure.

ASCE 7-95, paragraph 6.5.4, prohibits shielding, but the client
guarantees that the five buildings will always stay together. If so,
using shielding makes sense. A call to ASCE confirmed that paragraph
6.5.4 is not gospel. Unfortunately, ASCE 7-95 does not address wind
loading for series of buildings. Here are my questions:

1. Is it OK to apply wind loads only on the windward wall of building 1
and leeward wall of building 5?

2. Is it reasonable to assume that, as the wind goes around the
buildings, vacuum will develop in the spaces between the buildings,
which in turn will generate suction on all interior wall surfaces? 

3. If my above assumptions are incorrect, what would be the correct
approach for applying wind loads?

Many thanks,

Gabe Bohm
San Dimas, California