The role of the building envelope research team in this project was to assess whether midrise wood-frame (LWF) and cross-laminated timber (CLT) building envelope solutions developed by the fire research team to meet the fire provisions of the National Building Code (NBC) 2010 Part 3 Fire Protection, would also meet the NBC Part 5 Environmental Separation requirements relating to the protection of the building envelope from excessive moisture and water accumulation. As well, these wood-based mid-rise envelope solutions were to be assessed for their ability to meet Part 3 Building Envelope of the National Energy Code for Buildings (NECB) 2011. Requirements relating to heat, air, moisture, and precipitation (HAMP) control by the building envelope are included in Part 5 Environmental Separation of the NBC 2010. Part 5 addresses all building types and occupancies referred to in Part 3, but unlike requirements for fire protection, this section of the code was written more recently and is generic, including requirements that are more objective-oriented rather than prescriptive requirements pegged to specific constructions systems. The investigated methodologies developed and adapted for this study took those code characteristics into account.
This report summarizes the acoustics research component regarding sound insulation of elements and systems for the research project on mid-rise and larger wood buildings. The summary outlines the background, main research considerations, research conducted and major outcomes. Further details of the design and the results can found in the appendix of Client Report A1-100035-02.1 .
The goal of the acoustics research components was to develop design solutions for mid-rise wood and wood-hybrid buildings that comply both with the current National Building Code of Canada (NBCC) 2010  requirements for direct sound insulation and with the anticipated requirements for flanking sound transmission in the proposed, 2015 version of the NBCC. In addition, the design solutions were to provide better impact sound insulation while still achieving code compliance for all other disciplines (interdependencies) as identified in the final report of the scoping study conducted in FY 2010/2011 
Standard fire endurance tests were performed on a full-scale floor assembly and a full-scale wall assembly constructed with cross-laminated timber (CLT) as the main structural element. The full-scale floor assembly consisted of CLT panels encapsulated with fiberglass wool and a single layer of 15.9 mm thick Type X gypsum board on the exposed side and with two layers of 12.7 mm thick cement board on the unexposed side. The full-scale wall assembly was constructed from CLT panels encapsulated with two layers of 15.9 mm thick Type X gypsum board on both faces. Nine thermocouples were installed on the unexposed face of both assemblies to monitor the temperature rise throughout the test and nine deflection gauges were installed on each assembly to monitor deformations. The superimposed load applied on the floor assembly was 9.4 kN/m² and the load imposed on the wall assembly was 449 kN/m. The fire endurance period of the full-scale floor assembly was 128 minutes and that of the full-scale wall assembly 219 minutes. Both the full-scale floor assembly and the full-scale wall assembly failed structurally afterwards under the applied loading. No hose stream tests were carried out on the fullscale floor and wall assemblies.
Recent architectural trends include the design and construction of increasingly tall buildings with structural components comprised of engineered wood referred to by names including; cross laminated timber (CLT), laminated veneer lumber (LVL), or glued laminated timber (Glulam). These buildings are cited for their advantages in sustainability resulting from the use of wood as a renewable construction material. Previous research has shown that timber elements contribute to the fuel load in buildings and can increase the initial fire growth rate – potentially overwhelming fire protection system and creating more severe conditions for occupants, emergency responders, and nearby properties.
The overarching goal of this project Fire Safety Challenges of Tall Wood Buildings Phase 2 (involving five tasks) is to quantify the contribution of CLT building elements (wall and/or floor-ceiling assemblies) in compartment fires and provide data to allow comparison of the performance of CLT systems against other building systems commonly used in tall buildings.
A research project, Wood and Wood-Hybrid Midrise Buildings, was undertaken to develop information to be used as the basis for alternative/acceptable solutions for mid-rise construction using wood structural elements. The effectiveness of the encapsulation approach in limiting the involvement of wood structural materials in fires was demonstrated in this research project through bench-, intermediate- and full-scale fire experiments. These results for encapsulated lightweight wood-frame (LWF) systems and encapsulated cross-laminated timber (CLT) systems are documented in a series of reports [3, 4, 5, 6].
In addition to developing the encapsulation approach for protecting the wood structural materials to meet the above code intent, research was undertaken to examine standard fire resistance of encapsulated wood structural assemblies for use in mid-rise wood/timber buildings. One of the major differences between structural LWF assemblies used in mid-rise wood buildings (5-6 storeys) and low-rise wood buildings (= 4 stories) is the wall assemblies for the lower storeys. For mid-rise wood buildings, loadbearing wall assemblies on the lower storeys have to be designed to resist higher axial loads due to the self-weight of the upper storeys, which often result in the need for larger-size stud members and/or a greater number of studs, and higher lateral loads in case of seismic events or wind loads, which often requires the use of wood shear panels within the wall assembly. These wall assemblies very often will need to meet standard fire resistance requirements, and therefore, information regarding their standard fire-resistance ratings should be developed. This report documents the results of fullscale furnace tests conducted to develop standard fire-resistance ratings of encapsulated LWF assemblies for use in mid-rise applications.
A research project, Wood and Wood-Hybrid Midrise Buildings, was undertaken to develop information to be used as the basis for alternative/acceptable solutions for mid-rise construction using wood structural elements. A key parameter in the use of encapsulation materials to protect wood structural elements is the ignition temperature of wood. In this report, a brief overview of wood ignition is provided. In addition, the results of limited cone calorimeter testing to determine the ignition characteristics of OSB and torrefied wood are discussed. The ignition temperature of plywood used as a substrate for cone calorimeter tests with encapsulation materials is also provided.
This report describes a full-scale exterior wall fire test conducted on December 16, 2014 on a Nordic cross-laminated timber (CLT) wall system. The test was conducted in accordance with CAN/ULC-S134-13, Standard Method of Fire Test of Exterior Wall Assemblies. The test was conducted using the exterior wall fire test facility located in the Burn Hall of the NRC Fire Laboratory, Mississippi Mills, Ontario. The CLT wall system was assembled to represent a continuous solid wood wall covered by a water barrier membrane and insulation. The pilot burners were lit prior to the commencement of the test. Gas flow to the burners was manually adjusted to follow the prescribed heat input required by the standard.
In general for both wall constructions simulation results tended to point to the exterior of the stud
in the Lightweight Wood Frame (LWF) and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) construction cases to
be the area most at risk, specifically toward the exterior surface of the stud. Generally the total
Moisture Content (MC) of the stud decreased to an acceptable level within the simulation period
however the exterior surface appeared to remain at relatively high of moisture content level for
significant periods of time. The presence of wood strapping covering the exterior face of the stud
seemed to exacerbate the situation. If a support system for the cladding can be designed that does
not rely on wood strapping or covers a minimum area of the stud the performance of this critical
area could be improved. If the initial moisture content of the wood materials could be reduced
before close up the performance would also be improved for all locations that did not show an
increase in moisture content and the RHT index in the second year, at least with respect to
computer modelling. This work however was not in scope of the work.
To evaluate the building envelope performance of the generic exterior wall assemblies developed for use in mid-rise wood buildings, hygrothermal properties of materials used in the assemblies are needed as input data for hygrothermal modelling. Hygrothermal properties were developed for fire retardant treated plywood, regular gypsum sheathing, spray polyurethane foam and cross-laminated timber. This report documents results of the hygrothermal property determinations.
The objective of this part of the research project was to generate a set of reliable and
representative data on hygrothermal properties of a number of selected building materials as
1. D-Blaze Treated Plywood
2. Dricon Treated Plywood
3. Gypsum Sheathing
4. Closed Cell Spray Polyurethane Foam Insulation (Purple in Colour)
Recent research in the field of assessment of hygrothermal response has focused on either laboratory experimentation or modelling, but less work has been reported in which both aspects are combined. Such type of studies can potentially offer useful information regarding the benchmarking of models and related methods to assess hygrothermal performance of wall assemblies.
This report documents the experimental results of a benchmark experiment that was designed to allow benchmarking of stud drying predicted by NRC’s an advanced hygrothermal computer model called hygIRC, when subjected to nominally steady-state environmental conditions. hygIRC uses hygrothermal properties of materials derived from tests on small-scale specimens undertaken in the laboratory. The drying rates of wall assembly featuring wet studs that result from moisture accumulated during the framing stage of a 5 or 6 storey building. The drying rate of those studs was assessed in an experiment undertaken in a controlled laboratory setting. The results were subsequently used to help benchmark hygIRC reported under separate cover.