This new study aims to generate hygrothermal, particularly moisture-related performance data for light wood-frame walls meeting the R22 effective (RSI 3.85) requirement for buildings up to six storeys in the City of Vancouver. The overarching goal is to identify and develop durable exterior wood-frame walls to assist in the design and construction of energy efficient buildings across the country. Twelve test wall panels in six types of wall assemblies are assessed in this study. The wall panels, each measuring 4 ft. (1200 mm) wide and 8 ft. (2400 mm) tall, form portions of the exterior walls of a test hut located in the rear yard of FPInnovations’ Vancouver laboratory. This report, second in a series on this study, documents the performance of these wall assemblies based on the data collected over 19 months’ period from October 2018 to May 2020, covering two winter seasons and one summer.
A test program was conducted to generate hygrothermal performance data for light-wood-frame exterior walls meeting the R22 effective (RSI 3.85) requirement for buildings up to six storeys in the City of Vancouver. Six types of exterior wall assemblies, with 12 wall panels in total, were tested using a test hut located in the rear yard of FPInnovations’ Vancouver aboratory. This document provides a brief summary of the test and performance of these walls based on the data collected over the 19 months’ period from October 2018 to May 2020
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) may require preservative treatment in markets with severe termite hazards. Given the size of CLT panels, conventional pressure treatment would not be feasible. We therefore assessed the treatability of CLT panels with an alternative low moisture uptake surface-applied penetrating process for applying termiticides. Hem-fir panels were selected for the initial tests on the grounds that western hemlock and amabilis fir are relatively treatable. Nine test panels were dip treated and stored for 7, 14, or 21 day activation periods. Borate retention ranged from 1.2 to 6.5 kg/m3 and penetration ranged from 3 to 9 mm. Longer activation periods did not result in improved penetration. Greater penetration would likely be needed to meet performance-based standards.
This study aims to generate moisture performance data for several configurations of highly insulated woodframe walls meeting the RSI 3.85 (R22 eff) requirement for buildings up to six storeys in the City of Vancouver. The overarching goal is to identify and develop durable exterior wood-frame walls to assist in the design and construction of energy efficient buildings across the country. Wall panels, each measuring 1200 mm wide and 2400 mm tall, form portions of the exterior walls of a test hut located in the rear yard of the FPInnovations laboratory in Vancouver. Twelve wall panels in six types of wall assemblies are undergoing testing in this first phase. This report, first in a series on this study, documents the initial construction and instrumentation.
Vertical movement of wood frame buildings has become an important consideration in recent years with the increase of building height in Europe, North America, and Asia up to 6-storeys. This movement is composed of wood shrinkage and load-induced movement including initial settlement and creep. It is extremely difficult to identify the relative contributions of these components while monitoring full size buildings. A laboratory test was therefore designed to do this under controlled environmental and loading conditions. Two identical small-scale platform frame structures with dimensional lumber floor joists were designed and constructed, with built-in vertical movement and moisture content monitoring systems. The two structures were first conditioned in a chamber to achieve an initial moisture content (MC) about 20% to simulate typical MC on exposed construction sites in wintertime in Coastal BC. After the two structures were moved from the conditioning chamber into the laboratory environment, using a unique cantilever system, Structure No. 1 was immediately loaded to measure the combined shrinkage and deformation in the process of drying. Structure No. 2 was not loaded until after the wood had dried to interior equilibrium moisture content to observe the shrinkage and load-induced movement separately. The load applied on the two structures simulated a dead load experienced by the bottom floor of a six-storey wood frame building. The vertical movement and MC changes were monitored over a total period of six months. Meanwhile, shrinkage coefficients were measured by using end-matched lumber samples cut from the plate members of the two structures to predict the shrinkage amounts of the horizontal members of the two structures.
The results suggested that a load must be applied for movement to “show up” and occur in a downward direction. Without loads other than the wood weight, even shrinkage could show as upward movement. Monitoring of Structure No. 1 appeared to separate the contributions of wood shrinkage, initial settlement (bedding-in movement), and creep reasonably well. The entire movement amount reached about 19 mm after six months, which was comparable to the vertical movement measured from the bottom floor of a 4-storey wood-frame building in BC. Shrinkage accounted for over 60% of the vertical movement, with the other 40% contributed by load-induced movement including initial settlement and creep (when elastic compression was neglected); the magnitude of creep was similar to the initial settlement amount. Structure No. 2 showed less vertical movement but an increased settlement amount at the time of loading, indicating the presence of larger gaps between members when the wood was dry (with an estimated MC of 11%) before loading. Depending on construction sequencing, such settlement should occur with increase in loads during construction and can therefore be ignored in design. However, this test suggested that there may be a need to consider the impact of creep, in wet climates in particular, in addition to wood shrinkage.
This laboratory test will be maintained for a longer period to observe any further vertical movement and the relative contributions of shrinkage and creep. Similar tests should be conducted for structures built with engineered wood floor joists, given the fact that most mid-rise platform buildings use engineered wood floor joists instead of lumber joists.
The use of mass timber structural products in tall building applications (6–20 stories) is becoming more common around the world including North America. A potential concern is the environmental wetting of mass timber products during construction because such products may dry out more slowly than light-frame structural lumber, and wood, as an organic material, is susceptible to deterioration at elevated moisture contents. In order to better understand the moisture conditions present in high rise timber constructions, a long-term moisture monitoring program was implemented on an eight story, mixed-use, mass timber framed building in Portland, Oregon. The building was monitored with an array of moisture meters to track moisture content throughout the building’s construction and operation. This paper presents data covering a period just over one year starting from the manufacture of crosslaminated timber (CLT) panels. Hygrothermal properties of CLT samples of the same type used in the building were measured in the laboratory, and wetting and drying experiments on representative CLT samples were conducted. Simulated moisture contents using a one-dimensional hygrothermal model compared reasonably well with laboratory experiments and building site measurements.
The objective of this study was to assess the potential effects of climate change on the moisture performance and durability of massive timber walls on the basis of results derived from hygrothermal simulations. One-dimensional simulations were run using DELPHIN 5.9.4 for 31 consecutive years of the 15 realizations of the modeled historical (1986–2016) and future (2062–2092) climates of five cities located across Canada. For all cities, water penetration in the wall assembly was assumed to be 1% wind-driven rain, and the air changes per hour in the drainage cavity was assumed to be 10. The mold growth index on the outer layer of the cross-laminated timber panel was used to compare the moisture performance for the historical and future periods. The simulation results showed that the risk of mold growth would increase in all the cities considered. However, the relative change varied from city to city. In the cities of Ottawa, Calgary and Winnipeg, the relative change in the mold growth index was higher than in the cities of Vancouver and St. John’s. For Vancouver and St. John’s, and under the assumptions used for these simulations, the risk was already higher under the historical period. This means that the mass timber walls in these two cities could not withstand a water penetration rate of 1% wind-driven rain, as used in the simulations, with a drainage cavity of 19 mm and an air changes per hour value of 10. Additional wall designs will be explored in respect to the moisture performance, and the results of these studies will be reported in a future publication. View Full-Text
The USDA Forest Products Laboratory (FPL) has, for the past two years, been assisting in removing technical barriers to the use of CLT and trying to develop interest in the United States for its utilization. Coincidentally, Promega Corporation, a leader in providing innovative solutions and technical support to the life sciences industry, is currently constructing a new facility in Fitchburg, Wisconsin, that features CLT. This is the first large-scale commercial utilization of CLT in the United States using CLT manufactured in North America. As with any new building system, it is important for the design and construction community to have information on how CLT is installed and how it performs.
The objectives of this research are twofold: (1) to document the CLT installation process with photography and video and (2) to install sensors in the CLT panels and collect data on in-service moisture and temperature conditions.