In this project, CUrisk was employed to assess and compare the risk-to-life due to fire in mid-rise and high-rise residential and office buildings of wood construction and of non-combustible construction and to demonstrate how fire protection measures can be tuned to ensure a mid-rise or high-rise building of wood construction is as safe as a similar building of non-combustible construction.
The computation results show that [...] Comparisons between the numbers of deaths and injuries of scenarios with and without suitable fire protection systems show the importance of fire protection systems in reducing life risk from fire in all buildings. Sustaining the reliability of fire protection systems through proper design, installation, inspection, and maintenance is important to achieve the life safety objectives.
Project contact is Étienne Marceau at Université Laval
The objective of this project is to identify the risk factors taken into account in the pricing of an insurance contract for a construction site. This project aims to synthesize the quantitative approaches used in practice and presented in academic research for the pricing of home insurance and commercial insurance. Then, we aim to identify the preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the impact of different perils in the insurance of a construction site in wood or other.
A research project, Wood and Wood-Hybrid Midrise Buildings, was undertaken to develop information to be used as the basis for alternative/acceptable solutions for mid-rise construction using wood structural elements. As one approach, encapsulation materials could be used to protect the combustible (wood) structural materials for a period of time in order to delay the effects of the fire on the combustible structural elements, including delay of ignition. In delaying ignition, any effects of the combustion of the combustible structural elements on the fire severity can be delayed. In some cases, and depending upon the amount of encapsulating material used (e.g. number of layers), ignition of the elements might be avoided completely. This scenario would primarily depend upon the fire event and the actual fire performance of the encapsulating materials used. The effectiveness of the encapsulation approach in limiting the involvement of wood structural materials in fires was demonstrated in the research project through bench-, intermediate- and full-scale fire experiments.
A research project, Wood and Wood-Hybrid Midrise Buildings, was undertaken to develop information to be used as the basis for alternative/acceptable solutions for mid-rise construction using wood structural elements. The effectiveness of the encapsulation approach in limiting the involvement of wood structural materials in fires was demonstrated in this research project through bench-, intermediate- and full-scale fire experiments. These results for encapsulated lightweight wood-frame (LWF) systems and encapsulated cross-laminated timber (CLT) systems are documented in a series of reports [3, 4, 5, 6].
In addition to developing the encapsulation approach for protecting the wood structural materials to meet the above code intent, research was undertaken to examine standard fire resistance of encapsulated wood structural assemblies for use in mid-rise wood/timber buildings. One of the major differences between structural LWF assemblies used in mid-rise wood buildings (5-6 storeys) and low-rise wood buildings (= 4 stories) is the wall assemblies for the lower storeys. For mid-rise wood buildings, loadbearing wall assemblies on the lower storeys have to be designed to resist higher axial loads due to the self-weight of the upper storeys, which often result in the need for larger-size stud members and/or a greater number of studs, and higher lateral loads in case of seismic events or wind loads, which often requires the use of wood shear panels within the wall assembly. These wall assemblies very often will need to meet standard fire resistance requirements, and therefore, information regarding their standard fire-resistance ratings should be developed. This report documents the results of fullscale furnace tests conducted to develop standard fire-resistance ratings of encapsulated LWF assemblies for use in mid-rise applications.
This study which involves the development of fire loads and design fires for residential and non-residential mid-rise buildings is part of NEWBuildS’ “Rationalization o f Life Safety - Code Requirements fo r Mid-rise Buildings” project. The project is focused on analysing the code requirements that relate to fire resistance and the use of automatic sprinklers for mid-rise buildings built with combustible or non-combustible construction. The ultimate goal of the project is to come up with alternative solutions and, potentially, trigger changes in the code requirements for mid-rise buildings.
A review, compilation, and analysis of fire load survey data was conducted from available literature for residential and office buildings. A web survey of floor areas was also conducted for floor areas of mid-rise buildings. Fire loads and fuel packages for midrise buildings were developed based on previous surveys as well as the web survey. The fire load data in conjunction with statistical data was used to select fire scenarios from which design fire scenarios were chosen.
The fire characteristics of the selected fuel packages, such as heat release rate, and production of toxic gases, were analyzed using the two-zone fire risk analysis model, CUrisk, in order to develop appropriate design fires for mid-rise buildings.
Project contact is Weichiang Pang at Clemson University
The overall goal of this project is to enable the use of cross laminated timber (CLT) to construct commercial and other non-residential buildings in High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ). The 1992 Hurricane Andrew exposed the shortcomings of existing building codes. Recognizing this shortcomings, the Florida Building Code (FBC) incorporated new enhanced provisions which specifically require that the entire building envelope, including the wall and roof systems, must be impact resistant in HVHZ. Currently, CLT is not in the database of a list of building envelope products that comply with the HVHZ standard. The specific objectives of this project are (1) to qualify PRG-320 compliance CLT panels for HVHZ standard by conducting FBC debris impact and wind pressure cyclic tests; (2) to conduct education and outreach sessions to promote the use of CLT in HVHZ, and (3) to identify possible construction projects that may utilize CLT as the building envelope and promote the use of CLT in those projects. The test results generated in this project will be used specifically to gain HVHZ building code approval.
This paper presents an investigation of possible disproportionate collapse for a nine-storey flat-plate timber building, designed for gravity and lateral loads. The alternate load-path analysis method is used to understand the structural response under various removal speeds. The loss of the corner and penultimate ground floor columns are the two cases selected to investigate the contribution of the cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels and their connections, towards disproportionate collapse prevention. The results show that the proposed building is safe for both cases, if the structural elements are removed at a speed slower than 1 sec. Disproportionate collapse is observed for sudden element loss, as quicker removal speed require higher moments resistance, especially at the longitudinal and transverse CLT floor-to-floor connections. The investigation also emphasises the need for strong and stiff column-to-column structural detailing as the magnitude of the vertical downward forces, at the location of the removed columns, increases for quicker removal.