Tropical Cyclone Tracey — which devastated the Australian city of Darwin in 1974 — resulted in major changes to building design standards and regulations for house construction in Australia.

Cyclone Tracy was also the catalyst for the formation of the Cyclone Testing Station (CTS) at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. The CTS was set up as an independent research and testing authority for the performance of buildings and infrastructure, in response to cyclones and other wind events in Australia.

Although building standards have considerably improved since the CTS was established, the work of continual improvement in the wind resilience of low rise structures remains an ongoing challenge.

This article looks at the work of the CTS on how we can create buildings — and thereby communities —that are more resilient to tropical cyclones.