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.
The number of occupant complaints received about annoying low-frequency footstep impact sound transmission through wood floor-ceiling assemblies has been increasing in proportion with the increase in the number of multi-family wood buildings built. Little work has been conducted to develop solutions to control the low-frequency footstep impact sound transmission. There are no code provisions or sound solutions in the codes. Current construction practices are based on a trial and error approach. This two-years project was conducted to remove this barrier and to successfully expand the use of wood in the multi-family and mid- to high-rise building markets. The key objective was to build a framework for the development of thorough solutions to control low-frequency footstep sound transmission through wood floor-ceiling assemblies.
Field acoustic tests and case studies were conducted in collaboration with acoustics researchers, builders, developers, architects, design engineers and producers of wood building components.
The field study found that:
1. With proper design of the base wood-joisted floors and sound details of the ceiling:
With no topping on the floor, the floor-ceiling assembly did not provide sufficient impact sound insulation for low- to high-frequency sound components ;
Use of a 13-mm thick wood composite topping along with the ceiling did not ensure satisfactory impact sound insulation;
Even if there was the ceiling, use of a 38-mm thick concrete topping without a proper insulation layer to float the topping did not ensure satisfactory impact sound insulation ;
A topping system having a mass over 20 kg/m2 and composed of composite panels and an insulation layer with proper thickness achieved satisfactory impact sound insulation.
2. The proper design of the base wood-joisted floors was achieved by the correct combination of floor mass and stiffness. The heaviest wood-joisted floors did not necessarily ensure satisfactory impact insulation.
3. Proper sound ceiling details were found to be achieved through:
Use of two layers of gypsum board;
Use of sound absorption materials filling at least 50% of the cavity ;
Installation of resilient channels to the bottom of the joists through anchoring acoustic system resulted in improved impact sound insulation than directly attaching the resilient channels to the bottom of the joists.
A four-task research plan was developed to thoroughly address the issue of poor low-frequency footstep impact insulation of current lightweight wood floor-ceiling assemblies and to correct prejudice against wood. The tasks include: 1) fundamental work to develop code provisions; 2) expansion of FPInnovations’ material testing laboratory to include tests to characterize the acoustic properties of materials; 3) development of control strategies; and 4) implementation.
The laboratory acoustic research facility built includes a mock-up field floor-ceiling assembly with adjustable span and room height, a testing system and a building acoustic simulation software.
The preliminary study on the effects of flooring, topping and underlayment on FIIC of the mock-up of the filed floor-ceiling assembly in FPInnovations’ acoustic chamber confirmed some findings from the field study. The laboratory study found that:
A topping was necessary to ensure the satisfactory impact sound insulation;
The topping should be floated on proper underlayment;
Topping mass affects impact sound insulation of wood framed floors;
A floating flooring enhanced the impact sound insulation of wood framed floors along with the floating topping.
It is concluded that:
1. even if the studies only touched the tip of the iceberg of the footstep impact sound insulation of lightweight wood-joisted floor systems, the proposed solutions are promising but still need verification ;
2. with proper design of the base wood floor structure, the proper combination of flooring, and sound ceiling details along with proper installation, the lightweight wood floor-ceiling assembly can achieve satisfactory impact sound insulation ;
3. this study establishes a framework for thoroughly solving low-frequency footstep impact sound insulation problem in lightweight wood-joisted floor systems.
Solutions will be developed in the next phase of this study as planned and the study will be conducted under NRCan Transformative Technology program with a project dedicated to “Serviceability of next generation wood building systems”.
It is not possible or practical to precisely predict the vertical movement of wood structures due to the many factors involved in construction. It is, however, possible to obtain a good estimate of the vertical movement to avoid structural, serviceabilit...
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is proving to be a promising solution for wood to compete in building sectors where steel and concrete have traditionally predominated. Studies at FPInnovations found that bare CLT floor systems differ from traditional lightweight wood joisted floors with typical mass around 4 lb./ft2 (20 kg/m2) and fundamental natural frequency above 15 Hz, and heavy concrete slab floors with a mass above 40 lb./ft2 (200 kg/m2) and fundamental natural frequency below 8 Hz. Based on FPInnovations' test results, bare CLT floors were found to have mass varying from approximately 6 lb./ft2 (30 kg/m2) to 30 lb./ft2 (150 kg/m2), and a fundamental natural frequency above 9 Hz. Due to these special properties, the existing standard vibration controlled design methods for lightweight and heavy floors may not be applicable for CLT floors. ...
The intent of this Chapter is to answer simple questions related to the definition of sound, its sources, quantification and methods of measurement, acceptable levels of sound, differences between sound and noise, etc. Of course, when verbalizing such questions, the solutions for sound control will be naturally unfolded to readers. This Chapter is intended to thoroughly separate myth from reality. The Chapter also introduces the International Building Code (IBC) requirements for sound insulation in buildings. State of the art construction details for CLT walls and floor/ceiling assemblies generally meeting IBC requirements are provided herein and are based on results of tests performed in various laboratories in the world and in the field by FPInnovations. A step by step construction practices guide then leads the reader towards the final goal, which is the occupants' satisfaction. We expect that after reading this Chapter, the reader will be in a position to acknowledge that CLT buildings can achieve satisfactory sound insulation levels if proper design and installation are followed. Note that, considering the short history of CLT construction, the journey is only beginning.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) was developed in Europe for the prefabricated construction of wall, roof, and flooring elements. Adaption of CLT for use in the United States requires consideration of the different climates, building codes, and construction methods in this country. ... This Chapter provides guidance on hear, air, and moisture control in wall and roof assemblies that utilize CLT panels in U.S. climate zones. The overarching strategies are to prevent wetting of CLT panels by using drained wall systems, to control airflow using an air barrier on the exterior of the CLT panels, to place rigid insulation to the exterior of the panels, to prevent moisture from accumulating within the panels, and to allow the panels to dry should they get wet. In certain climates, preservative treatment of CLT is recommended to provide additional protection against potential hazards such as decay and termites. ...
Vertical movement of wood frame buildings has become an important consideration in recent years with the increase of building height in Europe, North America, and Asia up to 6-storeys. This movement is composed of wood shrinkage and load-induced movement including initial settlement and creep. It is extremely difficult to identify the relative contributions of these components while monitoring full size buildings. A laboratory test was therefore designed to do this under controlled environmental and loading conditions. Two identical small-scale platform frame structures with dimensional lumber floor joists were designed and constructed, with built-in vertical movement and moisture content monitoring systems. The two structures were first conditioned in a chamber to achieve an initial moisture content (MC) about 20% to simulate typical MC on exposed construction sites in wintertime in Coastal BC. After the two structures were moved from the conditioning chamber into the laboratory environment, using a unique cantilever system, Structure No. 1 was immediately loaded to measure the combined shrinkage and deformation in the process of drying. Structure No. 2 was not loaded until after the wood had dried to interior equilibrium moisture content to observe the shrinkage and load-induced movement separately. The load applied on the two structures simulated a dead load experienced by the bottom floor of a six-storey wood frame building. The vertical movement and MC changes were monitored over a total period of six months. Meanwhile, shrinkage coefficients were measured by using end-matched lumber samples cut from the plate members of the two structures to predict the shrinkage amounts of the horizontal members of the two structures.
The results suggested that a load must be applied for movement to “show up” and occur in a downward direction. Without loads other than the wood weight, even shrinkage could show as upward movement. Monitoring of Structure No. 1 appeared to separate the contributions of wood shrinkage, initial settlement (bedding-in movement), and creep reasonably well. The entire movement amount reached about 19 mm after six months, which was comparable to the vertical movement measured from the bottom floor of a 4-storey wood-frame building in BC. Shrinkage accounted for over 60% of the vertical movement, with the other 40% contributed by load-induced movement including initial settlement and creep (when elastic compression was neglected); the magnitude of creep was similar to the initial settlement amount. Structure No. 2 showed less vertical movement but an increased settlement amount at the time of loading, indicating the presence of larger gaps between members when the wood was dry (with an estimated MC of 11%) before loading. Depending on construction sequencing, such settlement should occur with increase in loads during construction and can therefore be ignored in design. However, this test suggested that there may be a need to consider the impact of creep, in wet climates in particular, in addition to wood shrinkage.
This laboratory test will be maintained for a longer period to observe any further vertical movement and the relative contributions of shrinkage and creep. Similar tests should be conducted for structures built with engineered wood floor joists, given the fact that most mid-rise platform buildings use engineered wood floor joists instead of lumber joists.
FPInnovations launched the “Next Generation Building Systems” research program to support the expansion and diversification of wood into new markets. “Next Generation Wood Buildings” can be described as buildings that implement design and construction practices, and use innovative wood-based materials and systems beyond those defined and addressed in current building codes. As part of this program, the serviceability research focuses on addressing issues related to floor and building vibrations, sound transmission and creep.
CLT is a next generation wood building material, which is a promising alternative to concrete slabs. To facilitate wood expansion into the market traditionally dominated by steel and concrete, several CLT buildings have been designed or built. Taking this opportunity, we conducted this study on two CLT buildings in the province of Quebec (i.e.,Desbiens and Chibougamau) to collect data that will form a database for the development of design provisions and installation guides for controlling vibrations and noise in CLT floors and buildings. The study also provides some information to designers and architects to strengthen their confidence in using CLT in their building projects. It is our hope that the collaboration through this study demonstrates to both designers and users of CLT buildings that if we work together, we can build good quality CLT buildings.
During the construction, ambient vibration tests were conducted on the two CLT buildings to determine their natural frequencies (periods) and damping ratios. Vibration performance tests were conducted on selected CLT floors to determine their frequencies and static deflections. ASTM standard sound insulation tests were conducted on the selected CLT walls and floors in Chibougamau CLT building to develop the sound insulation solutions. After the two CLT buildings were completed, ASTM sound insulation tests were conducted in the selected units to determine the Field Sound Transmission Class (FSTC) of the finished floors and walls, and the Field Impact Insulation Class (FIIC) of the finished floors.
We found that in general, the vibration performance of these two CLT buildings and their floor vibration performance are functional. The efforts made by the design engineers, the architects, and the contractors to make it happen are commendable, considering the lack of design provisions and guidelines in building codes for controlling vibrations in such innovative wood floor and buildings. The sound insulation of the selected units in Chibougamau building was very satisfactory. This confirmed that with proper design, construction, and installation of the sound insulation solutions studied in this report, CLT floors, walls and buildings can achieve very good sound insulation.
Some specific recommendations for CLT building sound insulation:
If flanking paths can be minimized, then it is expected that better sound insulation than what we measured on the CLT floors during the building construction will be achieved ;
Increasing the stud spacing from 400mm to 600mm for the wood stud walls enhances the airborne sound insulation of the current wood stud-CLT wall assemblies tested in this study ;
Decoupling ceiling from the structure frame and from the CLT floors is a significant factor for cost-effective sound insulation solutions ;
Selection of solutions for FSTC and FIIC above fifty (50) for non-carpeted CLT floors will ensure the satisfaction of the majority of occupants ;
Conducting subjective evaluation is useful to ensure occupants satisfaction ;
For implementation of the sound insulation solutions for floating floors, it is necessary to consult wood flooring and ceramic tiles installation guides for floating the flooring.
In order to address the lack of measured natural frequencies and damping ratios for wood and hybrid wood buildings, and lack of knowledge of vibration performance of innovative CLT floors and sound insulation performance of CLT walls and floors, FPInnovations conducted...
As 6-storey wood-frame, massive-timber and hybrid wood buildings are increasingly accepted by more jurisdictions across Canada, there is a need to develop reliable elevator shaft designs that meet the minimum structural, fire, and sound requirements in building...