This manual is helpful for experts and novices alike. Whether you’re new to mass timber or an early adopter you’ll benefit from its comprehensive summary of the most up to date resources on topics from mass timber products and applications to tall wood construction and sustainability.
The manual’s content includes WoodWorks technical papers, Think Wood continuing education articles, case studies, expert Q&As, technical guides and other helpful tools. Click through to view each individual resource or download the master resource folder for all files in one handy location. For your convenience, this book will be updated annually as mass timber product development and the market are quickly evolving.
The fire resistance of a structural building member includes its ability to survive a specified fire without loss of its loadbearing function. For glue laminated timber columns, fire resistance is determined by either subjecting a structural member to a standard fire test or by using one of two accepted calculation methods. For wood structural members, the calculation methods rely on char rates obtained from numerous standard fire tests. The existing calculation methods are limited under United States building codes to calculating fire resistance ratings of 120 minutes or less. However, over the past decade there has been a push towards tall wood buildings and designers desire more exposed wood to be permitted in buildings. This desire, coupled with the recent adoption of code language that permits tall wood buildings up to 18 stories, has resulted in the need to determine char rates for glue laminated timber to use in the fire resistance calculations up to 180 minutes. Here we present the experimental method and initial char rate results of glue laminated columns exposed to the standard fire.
The US housing construction market consumes vast amounts of resources, with most structural elements derived from wood, a renewable and sustainable resource. The same cannot be said for all nonresidential or high-rise buildings, which are primarily made of concrete and steel. As part of continuous environmental improvement processes, building life-cycle assessment (LCA) is a useful tool to compare the environmental footprint of building structures. This study is a comparative LCA of an 8360-m2, 12-story mixed-use apartment/office building designed for Portland, OR, and constructed from mainly mass timber. The designed mass timber building had a relatively lightweight structural frame that used 1782 m3 of cross-laminated timber (CLT) and 557 m3 of glue-laminated timber (glulam) and associated materials, which replaced approximately 58% of concrete and 72% of rebar that would have been used in a conventional building. Compared with a similar concrete building, the mass timber building had 18%, 1%, and 47% reduction in the impact categories of global warming, ozone depletion, and eutrophication, respectively, for the A1-A5 building LCA. The use of CLT and glulam materials substantially decreased the carbon footprint of the building, although it consumed more primary energy compared with a similar concrete building. The impacts for the mass timber building were affected by large amounts of gypsum board, which accounted for 16% of total building mass. Both lowering the amount of gypsum and keeping the mass timber production close to the construction site could lower the overall environmental footprint of the mass timber building.
Tall wood buildings have been at the foreground of innovative building practice in urban contexts for a number of years. From London to Stockholm, from Vancouver to Melbourne timber buildings of up to 20 storeys have been built, are under construction or being considered. This dynamic trend was enabled by developments in the material itself, prefabrication and more flexibility in fire regulations. The low CO2 footprint of wood - often regionally sourced - is another strong argument in its favour. This publication explains the typical construction types such as panel systems, frame and hybrid systems. An international selection of 13 case studies is documented in detail with many specially prepared construction drawings, demonstrating the range of the technology.
In response to the global drive towards sustainable construction, CLT has emerged as a competitive alternative to other construction materials. CLT buildings taller than 10-storeys and CLT buildings in regions of moderate to high seismicity would be subject to higher lateral loads due to wind and earthquakes than CLT buildings which have already been completed. The lack of structural design codes and limited literature regarding the performance of CLT buildings under lateral loading are barriers to the adoption of CLT for buildings which could experience high lateral loading. Previous research into the behaviour of CLT buildings under lateral loading has involved testing of building components. These studies have generally been limited to testing wall systems and connections which replicate configurations at ground floor storeys in buildings no taller than three storeys. Consequently, to develop the understanding of the performance of multi-storey CLT buildings under lateral loading, the performance of wall systems and connections which replicate conditions of those in above ground floor storeys in buildings taller than three storeys were experimentally investigated. The testing of typical CLT connections involved testing eighteen configurations under cyclic loading in shear and tension. The results of this experimental investigation highlighted the need for capacity-based design of CLT connections to prevent brittle failure. It was found that both hold down and angle bracket connections have strength and stiffness in shear and tension and by considering the strength of the connections in both directions, more economical design of CLT buildings could be achieved. The testing of CLT wall systems involved testing three CLT wall systems with identical configurations under monotonic lateral load and constant vertical load, with vertical loads replicating gravity loads at storeys within a 10-storey CLT building. The results show that vertical load has a significant influence on wall system behaviour; varying the vertical load was found to vary the contribution of deformation mechanisms to global behaviour within the elastic region, reinforcing the need to consider connection design at each individual storey. As there are still no structural design codes for CLT buildings, the accuracy of analytical methods presented within the literature for predicting the behaviour of CLT connections and wall systems under lateral loading was assessed. It was found that the analytical methods for both connections and wall systems are highly inaccurate and do not reflect experimentally observed behaviour.
Stress-laminated timber (SLT) decks in bridges are popular structural systems in bridge engineering. SLT decks are made from parallel timber beams placed side by side and pre-stressed together by means of steel rods. SLT decks can be in any length by just using displaced butt joints. The paper presents results from friction experiments performed in both grain and transverse direction with different levels of pre-stress. Numerical simulations of these experiments in addition to comparisons to full-scale experiments of SLT decks presented in literature verified the numerical model approach. Furthermore, several alternative SLT deck configurations with different amounts of butt joints and pre-stressing rod locations were modelled to study their influence on the structural properties of SLT decks. Finally, some recommendations on design of SLT bridge decks are given.
In Phase I (2018-19) of this project on Prefabricated Heavy Timber Modular Construction, three major types of connections used in a stackable modular building were studied: intramodule connection, inter-module vertical connection, and inter-module horizontal connection. The load requirement and major design criteria were identified. The connections were designed and tested to quantify their performance.
Conventional methods to build timber modules based on platform construction may not be most suitable for midrise to tall stackable buildings, due to the weak compression perpendicular to grain property of wood. Balloon construction is proposed here to manufacture individual modules so that non-disruptive vertical load transfer path is maintained along the structural height. Three screwed connections were tested to evaluate the load transfer between the elements, with steel angle brackets and Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL) blocks. Screws at 90° were found to be inadequate for this application due to the low stiffness and high variation. When screws were installed at 45°, both the steel plates and LVL blocks had high stiffness, high strength, and good ductility.
Advancement in engineered wood products altered the existing building height limitations and enhanced wooden structural members that are available on the market. These coupled with the need for a sustainable and green solution to address the ever-growing urbanization demand, avails wood as possible candidate for primary structural material in the construction industry. To this end, several researches carried out in the past decade to come up with sound structural solutions using a timber based structural system. Green and Karsh (2012) introduced the FFTT system; Tesfamariam et al. (2015) developed force-based design guideline for steel infilled with CLT shear walls, and SOM (2013) introduced the concrete jointed mass timber hybrid structural concepts. In this research, the basic structural concepts proposed by SOM (2013) is adopted. The objective of this research is to develop a wind and earthquake design guideline for concrete jointed tall mass timber buildings in scope from 10- to 40-storey office or residential buildings. The specific objective of this research is as follow:
1. Wind serviceability design guideline for hybrid mass-timber structures.
2. Calibration of design wind load factors for the serviceability wind design of hybrid tall mass timber structures.
3. Guidelines to perform probabilistic modeling, reliability assessment, and wind load factor calibration.
4. Overstrength related modification factor Ro and ductility related modification factor Rd for future implementation in the NBCC.
5. Force-based design guideline following the capacity based design principles.
In order to expedite market acceptance and facilitate the commercial uptake of wood products and systems in Canada, it is necessary to showcase such applications through high-rise and non-residential building demonstration projects. This paper presents recent initiatives by the Government of Canada focused on increasing use of wood as a green building material in infrastructure projects by supporting such demonstration projects. The objective of Green Construction through Wood (GCWood) program (launched in 2017) is to support the design and construction of several high-rise and non-residential timber demonstration buildings and bridges in Canada through expression of interest (EOI) calls. The program is also supporting research and development activities to facilitate acceptance of provisions that would allow for the construction of tall wood buildings in Canadian building codes and advanced wood education at engineering and architectural colleges and universities to help develop the future design capacity in Canada.