These Joint Professional Practice Guidelines – Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction Up to 12 Storeys were jointly prepared by the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) and Engineers and Geoscientists British Columbia.
The AIBC and Engineers and Geoscientists BC regulate and govern the professions of architecture, engineering, and geoscience under the Architects Act and the Professional Governance Act. The AIBC and Engineers and Geoscientists BC each have a regulatory mandate to protect the public interest, which is met in part by setting and maintaining appropriate academic, experience, and professional practice standards.
Engineering Professionals are required per Section 7.3.1 of the Bylaws - Professional Governance Act to have regard for applicable standards, policies, plans, and practices established by the government or by Engineers and Geoscientists BC, including professional practice guidelines. For Engineering Professionals, these professional practice guidelines clarify the expectations for professional practice, conduct, and competence when providing engineering services for EMTC buildings.
For Architects, these guidelines provide important information and identify issues to be considered when providing architectural services for EMTC buildings.
These guidelines deal with the performance of specific activities in a manner such that Architects and Engineering Professionals can meet their professional obligations under the Architects Act and the Professional Governance Act.
These guidelines were developed in response to new classifications of building size and construction relative to occupancy introduced in the 2018 British Columbia Building Code (BCBC), under Division B, Article 184.108.40.206EMTC. Group C, up to 12 storeys, Sprinklered, and Article 220.127.116.11EMTC. Group D, up to 12 storeys, Sprinklered. These new classifications were introduced in Revision 2 of the 2018 BCBC on December 12, 2019 and in Amendment 12715 of the 2019 Vancouver Building By-law (VBBL) on July 1, 2020. Additionally, provisions related to Encapsulated Mass Timber Construction (EMTC) were introduced in Revision 1 of the 2018 British Columbia Fire Code (BCFC) on December 12, 2019.
These guidelines were first published in 2021 to provide guidance on architectural and engineering considerations relating to these significant changes to the 2018 BCBC, the 2019 VBBL, and the 2018 BCFC.
For Engineering Professionals, these guidelines are intended to clarify the expectations of professional practice, conduct, and competence when Engineering Professionals are engaged on an EMTC building.
For Architects, these guidelines inform and support relevant competency standards of practice to be met when Architects are engaged on an EMTC building.
As with all building and construction types, the EMTC-specific code provisions prescribe minimum requirements that must be met.
The majority of EMTC of 7 to 12 storeys are considered High Buildings, and as such are subject to the BCBC, Subsection 3.2.6. Additional Requirements for High Buildings.
The current study uses knowledge from digital architecture, computer science, engineering informatics, and structural engineering to formulate an algorithmic framework for integrated Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) of Integrally-Attached Timber Plate (IATP) structures. The algorithm is designed to take the CAD 3D geometry of an IATP structure as input and automates the construction and analysis of the corresponding CAE model using a macroscopic element, which is an alternative to continuum Finite Element (FE) models. Each component of the macro model is assigned a unique tag that is linked to the relevant geometric and structural parameters. The CAE model integrity is maintained through the use of the common data model (CDM) concept and object-oriented programming. The relevant algorithms are implemented in Rhinoceros 3D using RhinoCommon, a .NET software development kit. Once the CAE macro model is generated, it is introduced to the OpenSees computational platform for structural analysis. The algorithmic framework is demonstrated using two case structures: a prefabricated timber beam with standard geometry and a free-form timber plate arch. The results are verified with measurements from physical experiments and FE models, where the time needed to convert thousands of CAD assemblies to the corresponding CAE models for response simulation is considerably reduced.
Forests can help mitigate climate change in different ways, such as by storing carbon in forest ecosystems, and by producing a renewable supply of material and energy products. We analyse the climate implications of different scenarios for forestry, bioenergy and wood construction. We consider three main forestry scenarios for Kronoberg County in Sweden, over a 201-year period. The Business-as-usual scenario mirrors today's forestry while in the Production scenario the forest productivity is increased by 40% through more intensive forestry. In the Set-aside scenario 50% of forest land is set-aside for conservation. The Production scenario results in less net carbon dioxide emissions and cumulative radiative forcing compared to the other scenarios, after an initial period of 30–35 years during which the Set-aside scenario has less emissions. In the end of the analysed period, the Production scenario yields strong emission reductions, about ten times greater than the initial reduction in the Set-aside scenario. Also, the Set-aside scenario has higher emissions than Business-as-usual after about 80 years. Increasing the harvest level of slash and stumps results in climate benefits, due to replacement of more fossil fuel. Greatest emission reduction is achieved when biomass replaces coal, and when modular timber buildings are used. In the long run, active forestry with high harvest and efficient utilisation of biomass for replacement of carbon-intensive non-wood products and fuels provides significant climate mitigation, in contrast to setting aside forest land to store more carbon in the forest and reduce the harvest of biomass.
The use of cross-laminated lumber (CLT) for building construction has gained interest in the United States (US) and Canada. Although anecdotal market size claims exist, few quantitative studies have estimated the potential market size or discussed the impact of CLT on lumber supply. This paper presents a method to quantify CLT markets and lumber supplies based on data for the Northwest US. The western US was chosen for its early adoption of CLT combined with a long history of commercial timber construction. Structural designs of archetype buildings were combined with projected multifamily residential and commercial building construction to estimate the demand for CLT. These figures were reduced to account for assumptions that address market penetration and population density. In the case study for the Northwest, the total potential market is less than the existing CLT production in western North America. Thus, the demand region was expanded to include the US and Canada west of the Rocky Mountains, resulting in an estimated demand of 800,000 m3/yr by 2030. A regional lumber supply study suggests that the lumber supply will support the existing CLT industry, which utilizes approximately 2% of the selected lumber classifications, with an unknown impact on lumber cost and production.
This new study aims to generate hygrothermal, particularly moisture-related performance data for light wood-frame walls meeting the R22 effective (RSI 3.85) requirement for buildings up to six storeys in the City of Vancouver. The overarching goal is to identify and develop durable exterior wood-frame walls to assist in the design and construction of energy efficient buildings across the country. Twelve test wall panels in six types of wall assemblies are assessed in this study. The wall panels, each measuring 4 ft. (1200 mm) wide and 8 ft. (2400 mm) tall, form portions of the exterior walls of a test hut located in the rear yard of FPInnovations’ Vancouver laboratory. This report, second in a series on this study, documents the performance of these wall assemblies based on the data collected over 19 months’ period from October 2018 to May 2020, covering two winter seasons and one summer.
Innovative mass timber panels, known as composite laminated panels (CLP), have been developed using lumber and laminated strand lumber (LSL) laminates. In this study, strain distributions of various 5-layer CLP and cross-laminated timber (CLT) were investigated by experimental and two modelling methods. Seven (7) different panel types were tested in third-point bending and short-span shear tests. During the tests, the digital imaging correlation (DIC) technique was used to measure the normal and shear strain in areas of interest. Evaluated component properties were used to determine strain distributions based on the shear analogy method and finite element (FE) modelling. The calculated theoretical strain distributions were compared with the DIC test results to evaluate the validity of strain distributions predicted by the analytical model (shear analogy) and numerical model (FE analysis). In addition, the influence of the test setup on the shear strain distribution was investigated. Results showed that the DIC strain distributions agreed well with the ones calculated by the shear analogy method and FE analysis. Both theoretical methods agree well with the test results in terms of strain distribution shape and magnitude. While the shear analogy method shows limitations when it comes to local strain close to the supports or gaps, the FE analysis reflects these strain shifts well. The findings support that the shear analogy is generally applicable for the stress and strain determination of CLP and CLT for structural design, while an FE analysis can be beneficial when it comes to the evaluation of localized stresses and strains. Due to the influence of compression at a support, the shear strain distribution near the support location is not symmetric. This is confirmed by the FE method.
The Italian building heritage is aged and inadequate to the high-performance levels required nowadays in terms of energy efficiency and seismic response. Innovative techniques are generating a strong interest, especially in terms of multi-level approaches and solution optimizations. Among these, Nested Buildings, an integrated intervention approach which preserves the external existing structure and provides a new structural system inside, aim at improving both energy and structural performances. The research presented hereinafter focuses on the strengthening of unreinforced masonry (URM) buildings with cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels, thanks to their lightweight, high stiffness, and good hygrothermal characteristics. The improvement of the hygrothermal performance was investigated through a 2D-model analyzed in the dynamic regime, which showed a general decreasing in the overall thermal transmittance for the retrofitted configurations. Then, to evaluate the seismic behavior of the coupled system, a parametric linear static analysis was implemented for both in-plane and out-of-plane directions, considering various masonry types and connector spacings. Results showed the efficiency of the intervention to improve the in-plane response of walls, thus validating possible applications to existing URM buildings, where local overturning mechanisms are prevented by either sufficient construction details or specific solutions. View Full-Text
The objective of this study was to assess the potential effects of climate change on the moisture performance and durability of massive timber walls on the basis of results derived from hygrothermal simulations. One-dimensional simulations were run using DELPHIN 5.9.4 for 31 consecutive years of the 15 realizations of the modeled historical (1986–2016) and future (2062–2092) climates of five cities located across Canada. For all cities, water penetration in the wall assembly was assumed to be 1% wind-driven rain, and the air changes per hour in the drainage cavity was assumed to be 10. The mold growth index on the outer layer of the cross-laminated timber panel was used to compare the moisture performance for the historical and future periods. The simulation results showed that the risk of mold growth would increase in all the cities considered. However, the relative change varied from city to city. In the cities of Ottawa, Calgary and Winnipeg, the relative change in the mold growth index was higher than in the cities of Vancouver and St. John’s. For Vancouver and St. John’s, and under the assumptions used for these simulations, the risk was already higher under the historical period. This means that the mass timber walls in these two cities could not withstand a water penetration rate of 1% wind-driven rain, as used in the simulations, with a drainage cavity of 19 mm and an air changes per hour value of 10. Additional wall designs will be explored in respect to the moisture performance, and the results of these studies will be reported in a future publication. View Full-Text
The rate at which flame spreads on the exposed interior surfaces or a room or space can have an impact on the rate of fire growth within an area, especially if the materials of the exposed surfaces are highly flammable. Therefore, the National Building Code of Canada (NBC) regulates the surface flammability of any material that forms part of the interior surface of walls, ceilings and, in some cases, floors, in buildings. Based on a standard fire-test method, the NBC uses a rating system to quantify surface flammability that allows comparison of one material to another, and the ratings within that system are called flame-spread ratings (FSR).
Fire separations and fire-resistance ratings are often required together but they are not interchangeable terms, nor are they necessarily mutually inclusive. The National Building Code of Canada (NBC)1 provides the following definitions: A fire separation is defined as “a construction assembly that acts as a barrier against the spread of fire.” A fire-resistance rating is defined as “the time in minutes or hours that a material or assembly of materials will withstand the passage of flame and the transmission of heat when exposed to fire under specified conditions of test and performance criteria, or as determined by extension or interpretation of information derived therefrom as prescribed in [the NBC].” In many buildings, the structural members such as beams and columns, and structural or non-structural assemblies such as walls and floors, are required to exhibit some degree of resistance to fire in order to prevent the spread of fire and smoke, and/or to minimize the risk of collapse of the building in the event of a fire. However, fire separations are assemblies that may or may not be required to have a specific fire-resistance rating, while structural members such as beams and columns that require a fireresistance rating to maintain the structural stability of a building in the event of a fire are not fire separations because they do not “act as a barrier against the spread of fire.”
The vulnerability of any building, regardless of the material used, in a fire situation is higher during the construction phase when compared to the susceptibility of the building after it has been completed and occupied. This is because the risks and hazards found on a construction site differ both in nature and potential impact from those in a completed building; and these risks are occurring at a time when the fire prevention elements that are designed to be part of the completed building are not yet in place. For these reasons, construction site fire safety includes some unique challenges. Developing an understanding of these hazards and their potential risks is the first step towards fire prevention and mitigation during the course of construction (CoC).
Wood-frame construction is the dominant building construction in low-rise buildings. The growth in the urban population and the need to meet sustainability objectives will mean having to allow taller buildings in areas that were traditionally low-rise construction. While the need for higher and environmentally sustainable building solutions increases, the Canadian codes responsible for the health and safety of buildings continued to limit wood building solutions to four storeys. Mid-rise (5- and 6-storey) wood-frame construction is a natural extension of low-rise wood-frame construction. In 2009, the BC Building Code (BCBC) was amended by the BC Building and Safety Standards Branch (formerly Policy Branch) to allow mid-rise wood-frame construction. The amendment brought the BC Building Code more closely in line with the U.S. states of California, Washington, and Oregon, where mid-rise wood construction is permitted. More than 100 mid-rise wood-frame construction projects in BC followed the BCBC amendment. Later, the provinces of Québec, Ontario, and Alberta took steps to permit mid-rise wood-frame construction, and finally the Canadian Commission on Building and Fire Codes (CCBFC) accepted code change proposals to allow 5- and 6-storey wood-frame construction in the 2015 edition of the National Building Code Canada (NBCC). NRC, CWC, and FPInnovations worked collaboratively on a project, funded by Natural Resources Canada and several provinces to provide additional technical information to support mid-rise wood-frame construction. This Handbook consists of ten multi-disciplinary chapters, which have been prepared to facilitate the design and construction of mid-rise wood-frame construction in Canada. Building on the information that formed the basis of Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists of British Columbia (APEGBC) Bulletin and the Régie du bâtiment du Québec (RBQ) guide, this Handbook covers broad design and construction topics and provides practical solutions by making use of the most recently developed technical and research information. The Handbook has been prepared to assist architects, engineers, code consultants, developers, building owners, and Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ). It is designed to be used in conjunction with the upcoming 2015 edition of the NBCC and the 2014 Edition of the CSA Standard on Engineering Design in Wood. It also complements existing design aids such as the CWC Wood Design Manual.
Simplified seismic design procedures mostly recommend the adoption of rigid floor diaphragms when forming a building’s lateral force-resisting structural system. While rigid behavior is compatible with many reinforced concrete or composite steel-concrete floor systems, the intrinsic stiffness properties of wood and ductile timber connections of timber floor slabs typically make reaching a such comparable in-plane response difficult. Codes or standards in North America widely cover wood-frame construction, with provisions given for both rigid and flexible floor diaphragms designs. Instead, research is ongoing for emerging cross-laminated-timber (CLT) and hybrid CLT-based technologies, with seismic design codification still currently limited. This paper deals with a steel-CLT-based hybrid structure built by assembling braced steel frames with CLT-steel composite floors. Preliminary investigation on the performance of a 3-story building under seismic loads is presented, with particular attention to the influence of in-plane timber diaphragms flexibility on the force distribution and lateral deformation at each story. The building complies with the Italian Building Code damage limit state and ultimate limit state design requirements by considering a moderate seismic hazard scenario. Nonlinear static analyses are performed adopting a finite-element model calibrated based on experimental data. The CLT-steel composite floor in-plane deformability shows mitigated effects on the load distribution into the bracing systems compared to the ideal rigid behavior. On the other hand, the lateral deformation always rises at least 17% and 21% on average, independently of the story and load distribution along the building’s height.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a large prefabricated solid engineering plank made of multiple layers of planks glued together and it is primarily used in structures such as the floors, walls, and roofs of buildings. ANSI/APA PRG 320 is the world recognized CLT lumber production standard, and the main raw material of CLT has always been softwood rather than hardwood. However, the bending strength, compressive strength, and shear strength of hardwood CLT lumber are stronger than softwood CLT lumber. The large and underutilized hardwood resources in central and southern Ontario provide a huge resource advantage for the hardwood CLT project. This article uses the Cost-Benefit Assessments model to assess the feasibility of investing in hardwood CLT plants in central and southern Ontario. The results show that the payback period of the hardwood CLT factory is 5 years, and the rate of return on investment of 10 years, 15 years, and 20 years are all-around 11%. This study could strengthen investor confidence and it also identifies the direction for the development of hardwood CLT plants in central and southern Ontario.
Initially, timber was considered only as an easily accessible and processable material in nature; however, its excellent properties have since become better understood. During the discovery of new building materials and thanks to new technological development processes, industrial processing technologies and gradually drastically decreasing forest areas, wood has become an increasingly neglected material. Load-bearing structures are made mostly of reinforced concrete or steel elements. However, ecological changes, the obvious problems associated with environmental pollution and climate change, are drawing increasing attention to the importance of environmental awareness. These factors are attracting increased attention to wood as a building material. The increased demand for timber as a building material offers the possibility of improving its mechanical and physical properties, and so new wood-based composite materials or new joints of timber structures are being developed to ensure a better load capacity and stiffness of the structure. Therefore, this article deals with the improvement of the frame connection of the timber frame column and a diaphragm beam using mechanical fasteners. In common practice, bolts or a combination of bolts and pins are used for this type of connection. The subject of the research and its motivation was to replace these commonly used fasteners with more modern ones to shorten and simplify the assembly time and to improve the load capacity and rigidity of this type of frame connection.
Moisture may significantly influence the dimensions and behavior of wooden elements and, thus, it is important to consider within both serviceability as well as ultimate limit state designs. Dimensional changes, also called swelling (during wetting) and shrinkage (during drying), are non-uniform due to the direction-dependent expansion coefficients of wood and usually lead to eigenstresses. If these exceed certain strength values, cracking may occur, which reduces the resistance to external loads, especially to shear stresses. The current standard Eurocode 5 takes these circumstances very simplified into account, by so-called service classes, defined based on the surrounding climate and average moisture levels over the course of a year. Accordingly, reduction factors for strength values and cross section widths are assigned.
For a better understanding of the climate-induced changes in wooden beams, we exposed 18 different beams with varying cross sections to a representative climate of Linz, Austria, within the framework of a finite element simulation and investigated the resulting moisture fields and crack patterns. For this purpose, expansions and linear-elastic stresses were simulated by using the thermal and moisture fields obtained in the first simulation step and expansion coefficients. Using a multisurface failure criterion, two critical points in time were determined for each cross section, at which advanced crack simulations were carried out using the extended finite element method. The resulting crack lengths showed that the Eurocode 5 assumption of a linear relationship between crack-free and total width could be verified for both drying and wetting cases.
In future, the obtained crack patterns might also be used to investigate the actual reduction of load-bearing capacities of such cross sections, since the position of a crack and, for example, the maximum shear stress may not coincide. For the first time in this work, a consistent concept is presented to estimate the resulting crack formation in a wooden element from any moisture load based on a mechanical well-founded simulation concept. For this reason, this work is intended to lay a basis for a more accurate consideration of climate-related loads on wooden elements up to timber constructions.
In cross-laminated timber (CLT) buildings, in order to reduce the disturbing transmission of sound over the flanking parts, special insulation layers are used between the CLT walls and slabs, together with insulated angle-bracket connections. However, the influence of such CLT connections and insulation layers on the seismic resistance of CLT structures has not yet been studied. In this paper, experimental investigation on CLT panels installed on insulation bedding and fastened to the CLT floor using an innovative, insulated, steel angle bracket, are presented. The novelty of the investigated angle-bracket connection is, in addition to the sound insulation, its resistance to both shear as well as uplift forces as it is intended to be used instead of traditional angle brackets and hold-down connections to simplify the construction. Therefore, monotonic and cyclic tests on the CLT wall-to-floor connections were performed in shear and tensile/compressive load direction. Specimens with and without insulation under the angle bracket and between the CLT panels were studied and compared. Tests of insulated specimens have proved that the insulation has a marginal influence on the load-bearing capacity; however, it significantly influences the stiffness characteristics. In general, the experiments have shown that the connection could also be used for seismic resistant CLT structures, although some minor improvements should be made.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is well known as an interesting technical and economical product for modern wood structures. The use of CLT for modern construction industry has become increasingly popular in particular for residential timber buildings. Analyzing the CLT behavior in high thermal environment has attracted scholars’ attention. Thermal environment greatly influences the CLT properties and load bearing capacity of CLT, and the investigation can form the basis for predicting the structural response of such CLT-based structures. In the present work, the finite element method (FEM) is employed to analyze the thermal influence on the deformation of CLT. Furthermore, several factors were taken into consideration, including board layer number, hole conformation, and hole position, respectively. In order to determine the influence, several numerical models for different calculation were established. The calculation process was validated by comparing with published data. The performance is quantified by demonstrating the temperature distribution and structural deformation.
This book provides a single-source reference for whole life embodied impacts of buildings. The comprehensive and persuasive text, written by over 50 invited experts from across the world, offers an indispensable resource both to newcomers and to established practitioners in the field. Ultimately it provides a persuasive argument as to why embodied impacts are an essential aspect of sustainable built environments.
The book is divided into four sections: measurement, including a strong emphasis on uncertainty analysis, as well as offering practical case studies of individual buildings and a comparison of materials; management, focusing in particular on the perspective of designers and contractors; mitigation, which identifies some specific design strategies as well as challenges; and finally global approaches, six chapters which describe in authoritative detail the ways in which the different regions of the world are tackling the issue.
Provides a comprehensive, up-to-date guide to embodied carbon calculation and reduction, with a particular focus on understanding uncertainty; includes examples of approaches used by industry professionals, and specific routes to embodied carbon reduction; identifies the methodologies, tools and standards in use around the world.
Le présent rapport décrit une partie des activités de recherche et développement (R&D) en lien avec la démonstration de la résistance au feu ainsi que les études sur la performance acoustique effectuées dans le cadre de la construction du bâtiment Origine. Ce bâtiment est la tour résidentielle en bois massif la plus haute au Québec. Sa réalisation a débuté en 2015 à la suite des analyses préliminaires de faisabilité technique-économique qui se sont étalées pendant toute l’année 2014. La construction et l’installation se sont finalisées vers la fin de 2017.
En premier lieu, le rapport présente les démarches liées à la réalisation d’un exercice de démonstration d’incendie pour une cage d’escaliers/ascenseur avec une chambre d’habitation adjacente, l’analyse de résultats et les principales conclusions en lien avec la pertinence de l’utilisation du bois massif pour des édifices de grande hauteur. En ce qui concerne la performance acoustique, le rapport présente la méthodologie d’étude et d’analyse des résultats des tests acoustiques pour des assemblages de mur et de plancher utilisés dans le projet Origine. De plus, ce rapport facilite la compréhension des activités réalisées et permet de montrer objectivement la capacité des produits en bois massif à offrir un environnement sécuritaire et confortable aux occupants de bâtiments multi-étagés.
Les principaux résultats indiquent que les cages d’escaliers/ascenseur faites en bois massif, conçues pour une résistance au feu équivalente à celle faites en béton, peuvent offrir une excellente performance et servent d’alternatives adéquates pour les bâtiments multi-étagés. En ce qui concerne le développement d’assemblages acoustiques pour les murs et les planchers en bois massif, il a été prouvé qu’une approche multicritère permet d’offrir des solutions performantes à des coûts raisonnables.
Finalement, il est clair que ce projet constitue un jalon très important dans le chemin d’acceptation des bâtiments multi-étagés en bois massif au Québec et au Canada. Sa construction, faite presque entièrement en bois, a nécessité de nombreux efforts économiques, de R&D, de conception et d’installation. De plus, les activités réalisées pour l’acceptation de ce type de construction ont permis de mettre en place de nouvelles technologies et des techniques de conception qui faciliteront la réplication de ce type de projet partout en Amérique du Nord.