This project identifies drivers for, and barriers to, the increased use of prefabricated timber building (PTB) systems in Class 2 to 9 commercial buildings, such as apartments, hotels, office buildings and schools.
PTB systems in Australia are in a formative stage and yet to achieve broad acceptance in the marketplace as a conventional method of building.
Opportunities for PTB systems can use timber’s well-established benefits such as high strength-to-weight ratio; design and construction flexibility; general environmental credentials including carbon sequestration; and prefabrication’s suitability for use on brown-field, restricted access and difficult sites and developments. In addition legislative constraints have now been largely removed (e.g. through changes to the 2016 National Construction Code).
An increase in large scale mid-rise prefabricated buildings, and with the increasing nationalisation and internationalisation of the top tier building companies, suggests market acceptance will grow as PTB buildings are seen as ‘normal’.
This report was commissioned to review and formulate strategies for the accelerated uptake and
social acceptance of living in multi-storey cross-laminated timber (CLT)-constructed buildings in infill developments to: remove cultural barriers, meet the sustainability expectations of potential buyers and obtain a better understanding of how we can facilitate the rapid introduction of this innovative construction technology in Australia.
An extensive review of literature within the field was conducted to gather an overview of the
barriers that inhibit consumers, governments and industry in the uptake and acceptance of CLTconstructed buildings for infill development. Data was collected on CLT buildings worldwide, to build a comprehensive picture of multi-storey timber buildings using CLT-construction systems.
During the last few years, the merging of timber building tradition with the application of new
technologies has produced new prefabricated building systems in Europe and North America. Mid-rise buildings present a unique opportunity to apply new timber technologies. Chile has shown sustained growth of buildings construction during the past decades but little further
development in the use of wood. To establish the feasibility of timber systems applied to the Chilean context this research considered social aspects, technical aspects and local standards related to the manufacture and construction using timber components. A project proposal is used to analyze the architectural applications of timber systems according to the Chilean context. The design considers the case of densification in the city of Santiago and investigates the possibility of developing mid-rise structures using the structural properties and features of timber systems. So far only two systems applied to mid-rise structures have been tested for seismic resistance on full scale prototypes: Midply and Cross Laminated Timber.
Project contact is Craig Mitchell at Black Box Offsite Solutions
The study assesses the current state of the prefabrication industry in Canada and identifies key challenges and potential market opportunities in the sector for the increased use of mass timber. This analysis of the current state of the industry examines all forms of prefabrication, with a focus on wood (light wood frame and mass timber) where possible. A more detailed analysis focuses on future mass timber market opportunities in Canada and globally, including prefabricated timber building elements (i.e. structural components, retrofit components, etc.) and building typologies. Recommendations will inform policy decisions and other efforts required to support the further development and adoption of prefabricated timber buildings in Canada.
Palm trees are a family of plants with hundreds of species. Most important species are coconut palm, oil palm and date palm. Most palms grow in tropical regions, but some species also in semidry regions (date palms). Palms have played an important role for the supply of food and they provide shade for agricultural crops and they are planted in parks and gardens. With exception for coconut wood, the wood from palm trees has not been used to a large extent. But it is considered as an important resource. According to FAO, coco-, oil- and date palms cover over 30 million ha worldwide with a total stem wood potential of 150-200 million m³ per year. Generally this wood resource can play an important role in the regional/worldwide wood supply; mainly in Asia, Arabic countries, Africa and Latin America. The stem of the tree (coconut-, oil- and date Palm) is between 10 and 20 (25) m long, has a lower diameter of 40 – 60 cm and a taper of 0.3 – 0.7 cm/m. Being monocotyledons, palms show distinct differences in the wood structure compared to common wood species.
Prefabricated engineered solid wood panel construction systems can sequester and store CO2. Modular cross-laminated timber (CLT, also called cross-lam) panels form the basis of low-carbon, engineered construction systems using solid wood panels that can be used to build residential infill developments of 10 storeys or higher. Multi-apartment buildings of 4 to 10 storeys constructed entirely in timber, such as recently in Europe, are innovative, but their social and cultural acceptance in Australia and North America is at this stage still uncertain. Future commercial utilisation is only possible if there is a user acceptance. The author is part of a research team that aims to study two problems: first models of urban infill; then focus on how the use of the CLT systems can play an important role in facilitating a more livable city with better models of infill housing. Wood is an important contemporary building resource due to its low embodied energy and unique attributes. The potential of prefabricated engineered solid wood panel systems, such as CLT, as a sustainable building material and system is only just being realised around the globe. Since timber is one of the few materials that has the capacity to store carbon in large quantities over a long period of time, solid wood panel construction offers the opportunity of carbon engineering, to turn buildings into ‘carbon sinks’. Thus some of the historically negative environmental impact of urban development and construction can be turned around with CLT construction on brownfield sites
Model building codes in the United States limit timber construction to six stories, due to concerns over fire safety and structural performance. With new timber technologies, tall timber buildings are now being planned for construction. The process for building approval for a building constructed above the code height limits with a timber load-bearing structure, is by an alternative engineering means. Engineering solutions are required to be developed to document and prove equivalent performance to a code compliant structure, where approval is based on substantive consultation and documentation. Architects in the US are also pushing the boundaries and requesting load-bearing timber be exposed and not fully encapsulated in fire rated gypsum drywall. This provides an opportunity for the application of recent fire research on exposed timber to be applied, and existing methods of analyzing the impact of fire on engineered timber structures to be developed further. This paper provides an overview of the performance based fire safety engineering required for building approval and also describes the engineering methodologies that can be utilized to address specific exposed load-bearing timber issues; concealed connections for glulam beams; and the methodology to address areas of exposed timber.
Project contact is Jean-François Lalonde at Université Laval
In the development of an architectural concept, the perception of the client is a key element for acceptability. Wood often becomes a dominant architectural element. While decision-making on the choice of materials is often subject to budgetary considerations, it appears that the added value of wood in the building’s design, even on the basis of preliminary sketches and models (physical or visual), is not adequately delivered. The project proposes to explore augmented reality technology as a technique allowing greater acceptability of wood material during the initial design phases. The architectural component will explore the creative potential and quantify public perception when subject to the use of wood material in augmented reality.
Project contact is Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg at the University of Oregon
The goal of this project is to accelerate the application of structural mass timber, such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), in outpatient healthcare construction. In particular, this project will address concerns related to hygienic and moisture performance of CLT, as well as exploring other challenges faced in mass timber construction. The project will engage with industry partners representing architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC), healthcare professionals, and policy-makers to advance the state of knowledge and market penetration of CLT in healthcare. Healthcare construction is a large and growing sector; pioneering the use of CLT in this market would significantly increase utilization of small-diameter and lower-quality timber. Ultimately, successful implementation of this project would help achieve USFS regional priorities of supporting ecosystem restoration and wildland fire management, as well as Oregon’s State Forest Action Plan goals of protecting communities at risk of wildfire, maintaining the forestland base, and preserving diversity of upland habitats.