DOI link: https://doi.org/10.3929/ethz-b-000405617
With the rise of complex and free-form timber architecture enabled by digital design and fabrication, timber manufacturing companies increasingly need to produce curved components. In this thesis, a novel approach for the manufacturing of curved timber building components is proposed and analyzed. Following biological role models such as the bending of pine cone scales, a smart way to curve wood at large-scale is given by the biomimetic concept of bi-layered laminated wood. This principle enables large programmed material deformations upon controlled moisture content change. The main objectives of this thesis are the in-depth understanding of the mechanics of self-shaping wood bilayers and the up-scaling of the already known principle from the laboratory to the industrial scale in order to enable an application as form-stable curved elements in architecture. Hereby, the main challenges addressed are the accurate prediction of shape-change in terms of the natural variability in wood material parameters, the scale-dependent impact of moisture gradients on mechanical behavior, and the influence of wood-specific time- and moisture-dependent deformation mechanisms such as creep or mechano-sorption in the shaping process. Major impacts of these aspects on the shaping behavior could be demonstrated by the use of continuum-mechanical material models adapted to wood, both in the form of analytical and numerical models. Based on the gained insight, the up-scaling process to industrial manufacturing was successfully made possible. A collaborative project realized in 2019, the 14 m high Urbach tower, is presented as a proof of concept for application and competitiveness of the novel biomimetic method for production of curved mass timber components. Furthermore, next to self-shaping by bending to single-curved components, possibilities and limitations for achieving double-curved structures using wood bilayers in a gridshell configuration are analyzed and discussed.
Sustainability and innovation are key components in the fight against climate change. Mass timber buildings have been gaining popularity due to the renewable nature of timber. Although research comparing mass timber buildings to more mainstream buildings such as steel is still in the early stages and therefore, limited. We are looking to determine the difference between carbon footprints of mass timber and traditional steel and concrete buildings. This is done with the intention of determining the sustainability and practicality of mass timber buildings.
More and more people live in cities. The building industry is responsible for 33% of waste production and is set to increase further to 50% in 2025. The energy efficiency is continuously increased, but the waste production at the end of life of a building is largely ignored. This design proposes a solution in the form of a zero-waste high-rise design. It uses only recyclable or renewable materials. Mass-timber is chosen as the main material as it is not only renewable and easily reusable, it is also a storage of CO2. The design reuses the foundation of existing buildings, and with the lightweight properties of mass-timber, increases the density on the location by building taller. The design is four times taller as the current buildings. To allow for sustainable densification, the design offers public and collective qualities. The building has been designed is such a way to be easily refitted during its life cycle or to be completely disassembled at the end of life.
Use of timber as a construction material has entered a period of renaissance since the development of high-performance engineered wood products, enabling larger and taller buildings to be built. In addition, due to substantial contribution of the building sector to global energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste production, sustainable solutions are needed, for which timber has shown a great potential as a sustainable, resilient and renewable building alternative, not only for single family homes but also for mid-rise and high-rise buildings. Both recent technological developments in timber engineering and exponentially increased use of engineered wood products and wood composites reflect in deficiency of current timber codes and standards. This paper presents an overview of some of the current challenges and emerging trends in the field of seismic design of timber buildings. Currently existing building codes and the development of new generation of European building codes are presented. Ongoing studies on a variety topics within seismic timber engineering are presented, including tall timber and hybrid buildings, composites with timber and seismic retrofitting with timber. Crucial challenges, key research needs and opportunities are addressed and critically discussed.