Following the Bad Reichenhall ice-arena collapse, numerous expertises on the structural safety of wide-span timber structures were carried out at the Chair of Timber Structures and Building Construction. It became evident that inadequate structural design and detailing as well as inadequate manufacturing principles were the main reasons for observed failures. The design and manufacture of connections in wide-span timber structures are still amongst the most challenging tasks for both the structural engineer as well as the executing company. This paper will, on the basis of two exemplary expertises, discuss specific issues in the structural reliability of connections in wide-span timber trusses and give recommendations towards a state-of-the art design of such connections.
Timber construction has become completely modernized. It has gained considerably in market share with respect to competing building materials and is dominated by systems such as frame and solid timber construction.
Every timber construction is determined by its structure. Hence it is essential to know the connections and relationships from the design stage right through to the construction phase. Systems in Timber Engineering takes a whole new approach to this subject. It is a comprehensive, analytical, and visually organized treatment, from the simple single-family house to the large-scale multistore structure. It includes the building envelope, which is so important for saving energy, and systems for ceilings and interior dividing walls, which are so essential from the vantage point of construction.
This work uses plans, schematic drawings, and pictures to show the current and forward-looking state of the technology as applied in Switzerland, a leading country in the field of timber construction.