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)
The objective of the task is to select, from the 679 locations in Table C-2 of the 2010 National Building Code of Canada (NBC 2010) , several representative locations for which long-term historical weather data exists. This information from these locations can subsequently be used to determine the exterior boundary conditions for input files for hygrothermal simulation programs and hygrothermal testing in the laboratory.
This report discusses the selection of locations for the hygrothermal simulation task of the project on Mid-rise Wood Buildings and the determination of spray-rates and pressure differentials for the water penetration testing portion of the project.
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.
The following topics in the field of seismic analysis and design of mid-rise (5- and 6-storey) wood-frame buildings are included in this paper: Determination of the building period, linear dynamic analysis of wood-frame structures, deflections of stacked multi-storey shearwalls, diaphragm classification, capacity-based design for woodframe...
Preliminary simulation was carried out using hygIRC and WUFI, both 1-D hygrothermal models, to analyze moisture performance of rainscreened wood-frame walls and cross-laminated timber (CLT) walls for the climates in Vancouver and Calgary. The major results are as follows.
In order to provide baseline knowledge, preliminary comparisons between hygIRC and WUFI were conducted to investigate the effects of climate data, wall orientations and rain intrusion on the performance of the rainscreened wood-frame walls based on Vancouver’s climate. hygIRC tended to produce almost constant moisture content (MC) of the plywood sheathing throughout a year but WUFI showed greater variations, particularly when the ventilation of the rainscreen cavity was neglected. Rainscreen cavity ventilation provided dramatic drying potentials for wall assemblies based on the WUFI simulation. hygIRC indicated that east-facing walls had the highest moisture load, but the differences between orientations seemed negligible in WUFI when the rainscreen cavity ventilation was taken into account. When 1% of wind-driven rain was simulated as an additional moisture load, hygIRC suggested that the rainscreen walls could not dry out in Vancouver, WUFI, however, indicated that they could dry to a safe MC level in the summer.
The discrepancies in material property data between the two models and between different databases in WUFI (even for the same wood species) were found to be very large. In terms of wood sorption data, large differences existed at near-saturated RH levels. This is a result of using pressure-plate/membrane methods for measuring material equilibrium moisture content (EMC) under high RH conditions. The EMC of wood at near-100% RH conditions measured with these methods can be higher than 200%, suggesting wood in construction would decay without liquid water intrusion or severe vapour condensation. The pressure-plate/membrane methods also appeared to be highly species-dependent, and have higher EMC at a certain RH level for less permeable species, from which it is relatively difficult to remove water during the measurement. The hygrothermal simulation in this work suggested that such a species bias caused by testing methods could put impermeable species (most Canadian species) at a disadvantage to permeable species like southern pine during related durability design of building assemblies.
In terms of using CLT for construction in Vancouver and Calgary, the WUFI simulations suggested that the use of less permeable materials such as EPS (expanded polystyrene insulation), XPS (extruded polystyrene insulation), self-adhered bituminous membrane and polyethylene in wall assemblies reduced the ability of the walls to dry. On the other hand, permeable assemblies such as those using relatively permeable insulation like semi-rigid mineral wool (rock wool) as exterior insulation, instead of less permeable exterior insulation materials, would help walls dry. The simulation also suggested that using CLT products with initially low MC would significantly reduce moisture-related risks, which indicated the importance of protecting CLT and avoiding wetting during transportation and construction.
In addition, the simulation found that indoor relative humidity (RH) conditions generated by the indoor RH prediction models included in hygIRC and WUFI varied greatly under the same basic climate and building conditions. The intermediate method specified in ASHRAE Standard 160 P resulted in long periods of saturated RH conditions throughout a year for the Vancouver climate, which may not be representative of ordinary residential buildings in Vancouver.
The simulation in this study is preliminary and exploratory. It would be arbitrary to recommend one model over the other based on this report or use the simulation results directly for CLT wall assembly design without consultation with building science specialists. However, this work revealed more opportunities for close collaborations between the wood science and the building science communities. More work should be carried out to develop appropriate testing methods and assemble material property data for hygrothermal simulation of wood-based building assemblies. Model improvement and field verification are also strongly recommended, particularly for new building systems such as CLT constructions.
Lack of research and design information for the seismic performance of balloon-type CLT shear walls prevents CLT from being used as an acceptable solution to resist seismic loads in balloon-type mass-timber buildings. To quantify the performance of balloon-type CLT structures subjected to lateral loads and create the research background for future code implementation of balloon-type CLT systems in CSA O86 and NBCC, FPInnovations initiated a project to determine the behaviour of balloon-type CLT construction. A series of tests on balloon-type CLT walls and connections used in these walls were conducted. Analytical models were developed based on engineering principles and basic mechanics to predict the deflection and resistance of the balloon-type CLT shear walls. This report covers the work related to development of the analytical models and the tests on balloon-type CLT walls that the models were verified against.
Solutions for Mid-Rise Wood Construction: Full-Scale Standard Fire Test for Exterior Wall Assembly Using a Simulated Cross-Laminated Timber Wall Assembly with Interior Fire-Retardant-Treated Plywood Sheathing
One of the tasks in the project, Wood and Wood-Hybrid Midrise Buildings, was to develop further information and data for use in developing generic exterior wall systems for use in mid-rise buildings using either lightweight wood frame or cross-laminated timber as the structural elements. This report describes a standard full-scale exterior wall fire test conducted on October 30, 2012 on a simulated cross-laminated timber (CLT) wall assembly with an attached insulated lightweight wood frame assembly protected using interior fire-retardant-treated (FRT) plywood sheathing. The test was conducted in accordance with CAN/ULC-S134 .
FPInnovations carried out a survey with consultants and researchers on the use of analytical models and software packages related to the analysis and design of mass timber buildings. The responses confirmed that a lack of suitable models and related information for material properties of timber connections was creating an impediment to the design and construction of this type of buildings. Furthermore, there is currently a lack of computer models and expertise for carrying out performance-based design for wood buildings, in particular seismic and/or fire performance design.
In this study, a sophisticated constitutive model for wood-based composite material under stress and temperature was developed. This constitutive model was programmed into a user-subroutine which can be added to most general-purpose finite element software. The developed model was validated with test results of a laminated veneer lumber (LVL) beam and glulam bolted connection under force and/or fire.