Advanced industrialized construction methods enable complex building components and systems to be built with high precision and quality. This manufacturing technique has an advantage to provide cost-competitive and high energy efficient building components and systems for both retrofits and new construction. This document gives an overview of the use of prefabricated panels in building Net Zero Energy Ready wood-frame multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) in Edmonton.
Timber has been used for building construction for centuries, until the industrial revolution, when it was often replaced by steel and concrete or confined to low-rise housings. In the last thirty years however, thanks to the development of mass timber products and new global interest in sustainability, timber has begun to make a resurgence in the building industry. As building codes and public perception continues to change, the demand for taller and higher-performance timber buildings will only grow. Thus, a need exists for new construction technology appropriate for taller mass timber construction, as well as for fabrication and deconstruction practices that respect wood’s inherent sustainable nature. With this in mind, this research program aims to develop a new hybrid shear connection for mass timber buildings that allows for easy construction, deconstruction, and reuse of the structural elements.
This report includes results of Phase 1, which focused on connections consisting of partially threaded 20M and 24M steel rods bonded into pockets formed in CLT and surrounded by thick crowns of high-strength three-component epoxy-based grout. A total of 168 specimens were designed and fabricated, and push-out shear tests carried out with a displacement-controlled monotonic loading protocol. Strength and stiffness values were assessed and effective failure modes in specimens identified. These latter, along with the recorded load-deformation curves, indicate that it is possible to develop mechanics-based design models and design formulas akin to those already used for typical dowel-type fastener timber connections. Additionally, the specimens were easily fabricated in the lab and quickly fastened to the test jig by means of nuts and washers, suggested such connections have a strong potential for prefabrication, disassembly, and reuse.
This paper presents the results of long-term experiments performed on three timber-concrete composite (TCC) beams. An innovative fabricated steel plate connection system, which consists of screws and steel plates embedded in concrete slabs, was adopted in the TCC beam specimens. The adopted shear connection can provide dry-type connection for TCC beams. Steel plates were embedded in concrete slabs while the concrete slab was constructed in factories. The timber beam and concrete slab can be assembled together using screws at the construction site. In this experimental programme, the beam specimens were subjected to constant loading for 613 days in indoor uncontrolled environments. The influence of long-term loading levels and the number of shear connections on the long-term performance of TCC beams was investigated and discussed. The mid-span deflection, timber strain, and interface relative slip at the positions of both connections and beam-ends were recorded throughout the long-term tests. It was found the long-term deflection of the TCC beam increased by approximately 60% while the long-term loads were doubled. Under the influence of the variable temperature and humidity, the TCC specimens with 8 shear connections showed slighter fluctuations compared with the TCC beam with 6 shear connections. In the 613-day observation period, the maximum deflection increment recorded was 6.56 mm for the specimen with eight shear connections and 20% loading level. A rheological model consisting of two Kelvin bodies was employed to fit the curves of creep coefficients. The final deflections predicted of all specimens at the end of 50-year service life were 2.1~2.7 times the initial deflections caused by the applied loads. All beam specimens showed relative small increments in mid-span deflection, strain and relative slip over time without any degradations, demonstrating the excellent long-term performance of TCC beams using the innovative steel plate connection system, which is also easily fabricated.
This paper presents an innovative and sustainable timber constructive system that could be used as an alternative to traditional emergency housing facilities. The system proposed in this study is composed of prefabricated modular elements that are characterized by limited weight and simple assembly procedures, which represent strategic advantages when it comes facing a strong environmental disaster (e.g. an earthquake). The complete dismantling of structural elements and foundations is granted thanks to specific details and an innovative connection system called X-Mini, capable of replacing traditional anchoring devices (i.e. hold downs and angle brackets) by resisting both shear and tension loads. This constructive system, denoted as Hybrid Timber Frame (HTF), takes advantage of the strong prefabrication, reduced weight of light-frame timber systems, and of the excellent strength properties of the Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels. Specifically, the solid-timber members typically used in the structural elements of light-frame systems are replaced by CLT linear elements. The results of experimental tests and numerical simulations are critically presented and discussed, giving a detailed insight into the performance of the HTF under seismic conditions.
A balanced combination of heat flows creates suitable conditions for thermal comfort—a factor contributing to the quality of the internal environment of buildings. The presented analysis of selected thermal-technical parameters is up-to-date and suitable for verifying the parameters of building constructions. The research also applied a methodology for examining the acoustic parameters of structural parts of buildings in laboratory conditions. In this research, selected variant solutions of perimeter walls based on prefab cross laminated timber were investigated in terms of acoustic and thermal-technical properties. The variants structures were investigated in laboratory but also in model conditions. The results of the analyses show significant differences between the theoretical or declared parameters and the values measured in laboratory conditions. The deviations of experimental measurements from the calculated or declared parameters were not as significant for variant B as they were for variant A. These findings show that for these analyzed sandwich structures based on wood, it is not always possible to reliably declare calculated values of thermal-technical and acoustic parameters. It is necessary to thoroughly examine such design variants, which would contribute to the knowledge in this field of research of construction systems based on wood.
International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics
Technological developments and social trends can create demand for new building functionalities, necessitating the adaptation of existing buildings. This paper presents the development of a modular building structural system that provides for the harmonization between the structural and functional lifespans of a building in order to achieve greater sustainability. The limitations of the existing prefabricated urban buildings with respect to their adaptability are contrasted with the proposed solution. The use of prefabricated engineered materials, such as cross laminated timber (CLT) and CLT-concrete composites, in conjunction with a modular system, reduces any climatic effects. The inherent advantages of incorporating detachable connections allows for the necessary structural adaptability, subsequently harmonizing and elongating the structural and functional lifespans. The resulting sustainable concept, when applied to residential buildings, could serve as a solution to address projections of future urban growth.
Many strategies have been investigated seeking for efficiency in construction sector, since it has been pointed out as the largest consumer of raw materials worldwide and responsible of about 1/3 of the global CO2 emissions. While operational carbon has been strongly reduced due to building regulations, embodied carbon is becoming dominating. Resources and processes involved from material extraction to building erection should be carefully optimized aiming to reduce the emissions from the cradle to service. New advancements in timber engineering have shown the capabilities of this renewable and CO2 neutral material in multi-storey buildings. Since their erection is based on prefabrication, an accurate construction management is eased where variations and waste are sensible to be minimized. Through this paper, the factors constraining the use of wood as main material for multi-storey buildings will be explored and the potential benefits of using Lean Construction principles in the timber industry are highlighted aiming to achieve a standardized workflow from design to execution. Hence, a holistic approach towards industrialization is proposed from an integrated BIM model, through an optimized supply chain of off-site production, and to a precise aligned scheduled on-site assembly.