A new type of mass timber structural system has been developed in New Zealand over the last decade. Timber members made of engineered wood products are used in combination with post-tensioning cables to produce highly efficient structural components suitable for multi-story moment resisting frames or shear wall-based lateral load resisting systems. Both systems are particularly useful in structures designed in high seismic regions. The post-tensioning also ensures self-centering of the components and the structural systems after a seismic event. In addition to the post-tensioning, the systems can use energy dissipating devices within the connections that further enhance the ductility of the systems and make them good candidates for low damage structural applications. Extensive experimental and numerical studies have been conducted to determine the performance of these systems and design procedures have been developed for practical applications. In an effort to bring this system closer to the North American designers, this paper contains a summary of the evolution of the concept and the most important research projects and findings to date. In addition, a number of applications within and outside New Zealand are reviewed to demonstrate the applicability of the concept. Finally, potential and recent initiatives for adoption of the technology in North America are discussed.
Second European Conference on Earthquake Engineering and Seismology
August 25-29, 2014, Istanbul, Turkey
Low-damage seismic-resistant post-tensioning technologies were first developed during the PREcast Seismic Structural Systems program, coordinated by the University of California San Diego. Different connections were developed and tested as part of the research program, and the most stable solution was the hybrid connection, which provides a combination of re-centering and dissipative contributions. The hybrid connection was later extended to Laminated Veneer Lumber Elements (LVL) and referred to as Pres-Lam (Prestressed Laminated) system. As part of a broader experimental campaign on frame and walls systems, several experimental tests were carried out on small-scale specimens of post-tensioned single walls and on coupled walls systems. More recently 2/3 scale quasistatic tests were performed on different wall configurations.
The paper shows the evaulation of the seismic performance factors of post-tensioned timber wall systems, carried out according to the FEMA P695 procedure. The latter utilizes nonlinear analysis techniques, and explicitly considers uncertainties in ground motion, modelling, design, and test data. The technical approach is a combination of traditional code concepts, advanced nonlinear dynamic analyses, and risk-based assessment techniques.
A set of archetype buildings were developed to characterize the behaviour of the system. Several parameters were accounted for, such as the building height, lateral load resisting system, magnitude of the gravity loads and seismic design category. The system archetypes were represented by numerical models developed to simulate the full range of behavioural aspects of the system. Nonlinear quasi-static and dynamic analyses were carried out to determine the system over-strength factors and median collapse capacity of the buildings. The system performance was then assessed by computing the Collapse Margin Ratio (CMR) defined as the ratio of the median collapse (SCT) and MCE (SMT) spectral accelerations.Once the non-linear analysis results confirmed the CMR values were within acceptable values, the trial value of the seismic response modification, R, was confirmed, and the system seismic performance factors were evaluated.
New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Conference
March 21-23, 2014, Auckland, New Zealand
The paper presents the design and construction detailing of the quasi-static testing of two post-tensioned timber wall systems: a single (more traditional) wall system and a new configuration comprising of a column-wall-column coupled system (CWC). The latter allows avoiding displacement incompatibilities issues between the wall and the diaphragm by using the boundary columns as supports.
Different reinforcement configurations were taken into account for both the wall systems; the walls were subjected to different initial post-tensioning stress levels, and different dissipater options were considered: both internal and external replaceable mild steel tension-compression yield fuses, and U-shape Flexural Plates (UFPs) were used for the single wall and the CWC solutions respectively.
The experimental results showed the high-performance of both post-tensioned timber wall systems with negligible level of structural damage in the wall element and residual displacements and high level of dissipation.
Project contact is Mariapaola Riggio at Oregon State University
Earthquake engineers are focusing on performance-based design solutions that minimize damage, downtime, and dollars spent on repairs by designing buildings that have no residual drift or “leaning” after an event. The development of timber post-tensioned (PT), self-centering rocking shear walls addresses this high-performance demand. The system works by inserting unbonded steel rods or tendons into timber elements that are prestressed to provide a compressive force on the timber, which will pull the structure back into place after a strong horizontal action. But, because these systems are less than fifteen years old with just four real-world applications, little information is known regarding best practices and optimal methods for engineering design, construction and/or tensioning procedures, and long-term maintenance considerations. This project intends to contribute knowledge by testing both cross-laminated timber (CLT) and mass plywood panel (MPP) walls through testing of anchorage detailing, investigating tensioning procedures for construction, determining the contributions of creep on prestress loss over time, and comparing all laboratory test data to monitoring data from three of the four buildings in which this technology has been implemented, one of which is George W. Peavy Hall at Oregon State University. This will be accomplished by testing small- and full-scale specimens in the A.A. “Red” Emmerson Advanced Wood Products Laboratory, and small-scale specimens in an environmental chamber.
The following paper describes the first stage of dynamic testing of a post-tensioned timber building to be performed in the structural laboratory of the University of Basilicata in Potenza, Italy as part of a series of experimental tests in collaboration with the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand. During this stage of testing a 3-dimensional, 3-storey post-tensioned timber structure will be tested. The specimen is 2/3rd scale and made up of frames in both directions composed of post-tensioned timber. The specimen will be tested both with and without the addition of dissipative steel angles which are designed to yield at a certain level drift. These steel angles release energy through hysteresis during movement thus increasing damping. The following paper discusses the testing set-up and preliminary numerical predictions of the system performance. Focus will be placed on damping ratios, displacements and accelerations.
The latest developments in seismic design philosophy in modern urban centers have moved towards the development of new types of so called “resilient” or “low damage” structural systems. Such systems reduce the damage to the structure during an earthquake while offering the same or higher levels of safety to occupants. One such structural system in mass timber construction is the “Pres-Lam” system developed by Structural Timber Innovation Company (STIC) and Prestressed Timber Limited (PTL), both from New Zealand. FPInnovations has acquired the Intellectual Property rights for the Pres-Lam system for use in Canada and the United States.
Seismic damage to floor diaphragms because of displacement incompatibilities are a point of concern in many structures. This paper studies the behaviour of timber diaphragms subjected to frame elongation and rocking of walls in post-tensioned timber buildings. Experimental tests with special connection details between floor panels and between the diaphragm and the lateral load resisting system show that floor damage in severe earthquakes can be avoided by designing for flexibility and proper connection detailing
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a relatively new type of massive timber system that has shown to possess excellent mechanical properties and structural behavior in building construction. When post-tensioned with high-strength tendons, CLT panels perform well under cyclic loadings because of two key characteristics: their rocking behavior and self-centering capacity. Although post-tensioned rocking CLT panels can carry heavy gravity loads, resist lateral loads, and self-center after a seismic event, they are heavy and form a pinched hysteresis, thereby limiting energy dissipation. Conversely, conventional light-frame wood shear walls (LiFS) provide a large amount of energy dissipation from fastener slip and, as their name implies, are lightweight, thereby reducing inertial forces during earthquakes. The combination of these different lateral behaviors can help improve the performance of buildings during strong ground shaking, but issues of deformation compatibility exist. This study presents the results of a numerical study to examine the behavior of post-tensioned CLT walls under cyclic loadings. A well-known 10-parameter model was applied to simulate the performance of a CLT-LiFS hybrid system. The posttensioned CLT wall model was designed on the basis of a modified monolithic beam analogy that was originally developed for precast concrete-jointed ductile connections. Several tests on post-tensioned CLT panels and hybrid walls were implemented at the Large Scale Structural Lab at the University of Alabama to validate the numerical model, and the results showed very good agreement with the numerical model. Finally, incremental dynamic analysis on system level models was compared with conventional light-frame wood system models.