Project contact is Luca Sorelli at Université Laval
This project aims to develop a new prefabricated wood / concrete floor system that is innovative and competitive in multi-storey wood buildings. The design of the floor will be carried out through a multidisciplinary approach that considers the composite action of the precast floor, the integration of sound insulation, vibrations, the weight of the structure, construction time and environmental impact. Among other things, the construction method and the use of ultra high performance green composite concretes with CLT slabs or GLULAM beams will be considered. The methodology includes digital analysis tools and a new method for the design of mixed structures as well as the life cycle tool. The laboratory proof of concept will assess the performance of the optimized floor system and compare it to existing floors.
This paper examines a new and very promising concept for prefabricated timber-concrete-composite floors (TCC-floors), were the heavy normal weight concrete is replaced by a lightweight concrete (LC) with a density of about 17 kN/m³. Investigations into the connections between lightweight concrete and timber indicate that the...
Timber-concrete composite structures were originally developed for upgrading existing timber oors, but during last decades, they have new applications in multistorey buildings. Most of the research performed on these structures has focused on systems in which wet concrete is cast on top of timber beams with mounted connectors. Recently investigations on composite systems were performed at Luleå University of Technology in Sweden, in which the concrete slab is prefabricated off-site with the connectors already embedded and then connected on-site to the timber joists. Similar studies have been carried out also on timber-concrete composite structures with prefabricated FRC slabs at Lund University in Sweden. Two kinds of shear connectors were incorporated in the prefabricated FRC concrete slabs. These last systems can be considered globally as partially prefabricated structures because only the slabs were cast off-site with already inserted shear connectors and then the connection with the timber beams is done on the building site. An innovative composite system for floor applications is presented in this thesis. The entire structure is prefabricated off-side, transported and direct mounted to the building on site, that can be seen as full prefabricated structures. Noticeable benefits of a full prefabricated structure are that the moving work from the building site to the workshop reduces construction costs, is more simple and fast of manufacture and erect, and of sure, has better quality, that means more durability. Self-tapping full-threaded screws to connect concrete slabs to timber beam were used. Dimensions of the composite beams and the spacing between the screws has been chosen by discussing different FE model in order to reach the optimal solution. The experimental campaign included:
(i) two short-time bending tests carried out on two dierent full-scale specimens,
(ii) dynamic tests conducted on one full-scale specimen,
(iii) long-time bending test carried out on one full-scale specimen,
(iv) compression tests on three cubes of concrete,
(v) nine withdrawal tests of the screws with different depth in the concrete.
The results of the experimental tests show that the composite beams have a very high level of resistance and stiffness and also allow to reach a high degree of efficiency. Last, comparisons between FE results, analytical calculations and experimental values have been performed and from them it can be concluded that FE model and theoretical calculations well interpret the behavior of the composite structure and provide reliable results.
Long-span timber-concrete composite (TCC) floor systems have the potential to address the design challenges for conventional wooden floors in residential multi-storey timber frame buildings. The aim of this paper is to develop a design approach for long-span timber-concrete composite floor system of 6–9 m. A framework based on value-driven design approach has been developed for integration of results from graphical multi-objective optimisation, spreadsheet-based analysis, structural static and dynamic finite element analysis, and multi-criteria decision making. To verify the developed framework, a residential five-storey timber frame building as a case study has been studied. Optimal design includes optimised thickness of the concrete and optimised smeared stiffness of connectors for three different comfort classes A to C in descending order. TCC floor with span length 7.3 [m] belonging to comfort class A and TCC floor with span length 9.0 [m] belonging to comfort class C has been chosen as optimal solutions. The results indicate that proposed and innovative design approach is a promising tool for developers, architects and structural engineers when designing optimal long-span timber-concrete composite floor system.
An innovative steel-timber composite floor for use in multi-storey residential buildings is presented. The research demonstrates the potential of these steel-timber composite systems in terms of bearing capacity, stiffness and method of construction. Such engineered solutions should prove to be sustainable since they combine recyclable materials in the most effective way. The floors consist of prefabricated ultralight modular components, with a Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) slab, joined together and to the main structural system using only bolts and screws. Two novel floor solutions are presented, along with the results of experimental tests on the flexural behaviour of their modular components. Bending tests have been performed considering two different methods of loading and constraints. Each prefabricated modular component uses a special arrangement of steel-timber connections to join a CLT panel to two customized cold-formed steel beams. Specifically, the first proposed composite system is assembled using mechanical connectors whereas the second involves the use of epoxy-based resin. In the paper, a FEM model is provided in order to extend this study to other steel-timber composite floor solutions. In addition, the paper contains the design model to be used in dimensioning the developed systems according to the state of the art of composite structures.
This paper describes the design of a novel semi-prefabricated LVL-concrete composite floor that has been developed in New Zealand. In this solution, the floor units made from LVL joists and plywood are prefabricated in the factory and transported to the building site. The units are then lifted onto the supports and connected to the main frames of the building and to the adjacent units. Finally, a concrete topping is poured on top of the units in order to form a continuous slab connecting all the units. Rectangular notches cut from the LVL joists and reinforced with coach screws provide the composite action between the concrete slab and the LVL joists. This system proved to be an effective modular solution that ensures rapid construction. A design procedure based on the use of the effective flexural stiffness method, also known as the “gamma method” is proposed for the design of the composite floor at ultimate and serviceability limit states, in the short and long term. By comparison with the experimental results, it is shown that the proposed method leads to conservative design. A step-by-step design worked example of this novel semi-prefabricated composite floor concludes the paper.
Project contact is Luca Sorelli at Université Laval
To minimize the built-in energy of the floor, we need to replace the current system with lighter solutions that retain the key features for robustness and maintenance, and are cost-effective and easy to build (Spadea et al., 2015). This project aims to explore innovative flooring solutions that make up a light wood load-bearing structure reinforced underneath by naturally occurring polymeric fibers (FRP) (Bencardino and Condello 2016), which work well in tension, and above an Ultra-Thin Ultra High Performance Concrete Slab (UHPC) that works exceptionally well in compression. Considering the application of very large floors in multi-storey buildings, the following key questions will be addressed: 1) what form should such a system have, 2) how will this be analyzed, and what mode of failure will be desirable? (3) what practical limitations would be imposed by constructability, (4) what would be the gain on economic cost and environmental impact from a life cycle analysis point of view, and (5) is possible to use biosourced epoxy for connections. The methodology consists of: (i) systems analysis and shape optimization using finite element numerical techniques, (ii) connection shear tests, and (iii) proof of concept on a beam prototype.
Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Construction Materials
DOI link: https://doi.org/10.1680/jstbu.171.9.661
As the only renewable construction material, and owing to the superior specific stiffnesses and strengths of the different species, timber has been used in major load bearing applications for thousands of years. The advent of waterproof adhesives during World War II and recent advances in manufacturing have combined to exploit the ease of forming and machining this material, leading to various forms of engineered timber including glulam, laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and cross-laminated timber (CLT). Manufactured in lightweight modules that are easily transported, then quickly craned into position and connected to produce eye-catching structures, engineered timber provides cost-effective alternatives (with minimal numbers and complexity of connections) to conventional materials for rapid construction of affordable residential and office spaces in busy city centres.
This research investigated the fire performance of unprotected timber floors, focussing on composite joist floors, composite box floors and timber-concrete composite floors. The study of these floors was conducted using the finite element software ABAQUS using a thermo-stress analysis in three dimensions, and with experimental fire tests of floor assemblies. The major goal of this research was to develop a simplified design approach for timber floors, validated against the numerical and experimental work.
Four furnace tests were conducted on unprotected timber floor systems in the full-scale furnace at the BRANZ facilities in New Zealand. A sequentially coupled thermal-stress analysis was conducted to determine the effects of a fire on floor assemblies under load. The thermal modelling predicted the charring damage of the floors tested in the experiments to within a few millimetres of precision, and the simplified assumptions made in relation to fire inputs, boundary conditions, mesh refinement and effective material parameters were accurate to the desired level of precision. A sensitivity study was conducted comparing different mesh sizes, time step sizes, material model approaches and software suites to determine any shortfalls which may be encountered in the analysis. It was found that a material model adopting a latent heat approach was the most adequate for modelling timber in fires using these effective values, and mesh sizes of up to 6 mm produced relatively precise results.
The structural modelling predicted the displacement response and failure times of the floors to within 20% of the experimental data, and the simplified assumptions made in relation to fire inputs, boundary conditions, mesh refinement and effective material properties were once again accurate to the desired level of precision. A modification to the reduction in tension strength at elevated temperatures was proposed to better predict the observed behaviour. A sensitivity study concluded that the material model definition plays a vital role in the output of the modelling. Non-standard fire exposures were also modelled for completeness.
A simplified design method to estimate the fire resistance of unprotected floor assemblies was also developed. The method uses a bi-linear charring rate the assumption of a zero strength layer in the timber. The method was compared to the experimental data from this research and others around the world. The results were also compared to other charring rate methodologies from around the world.
This paper aims to discuss timber-wood lightweight concrete composites for application in wall components for buildings. The aim is to develop a multi-layer wall system composed of wood lightweight concrete, connected timber sections to gain and use advantages of each used material – lightweight, structural, thermal storage and insulation, ecological and economic benefits – to name the most important ones. The development of timber-wood lightweight concrete composites systems will lead to a new generation of polyvalent multi-material building components. By using renewable resources, waste products of the forest industry, and manufactured wood products, this technology provides statically and energy-efficient components for low-energy constructions. Such products support rapid-assembly construction methods, which use prefabricated dry elements to increase the efficiency of the construction. Wood-based alternatives to conventional concrete or masonry construction also open opportunities to reduce the carbon emissions.