The latest developments in seismic design philosophy in modern urban centers have moved towards the development of new types of so called “resilient” or “low damage” structural systems. Such systems reduce the damage to the structure during an earthquake while offering the same or higher levels of safety to occupants. One such structural system in mass timber construction is the “Pres-Lam” system developed by Structural Timber Innovation Company (STIC) and Prestressed Timber Limited (PTL), both from New Zealand. FPInnovations has acquired the Intellectual Property rights for the Pres-Lam system for use in Canada and the United States.
In the US, codified seismic design procedure requires the use of seismic performance factors which are currently not available for CLT shear wall systems. The study presented herein focuses on the determination of seismic design factors for CLT shear walls in platform type construction using the FEMA P-695 process. Results from the study will be proposed for implementation in the seismic design codes in the US. The project approach is outlined and selected results of full-scale shear wall testing are presented and discussed. Archetype development, which is required as part of the FEMA P-695 process, is briefly explained with an example. Quasi-static cyclic tests were conducted on CLT shear walls to systematically investigate the effects of various parameters. The key aspect of these tests is that they systematically investigate each potential modelling attribute that is judged within the FEMA P-695 uncertainty quantification process. Boundary constraints and gravity loading were both found to have a beneficial effect on the wall performance, i.e. higher strength and deformation capacity. Higher aspect ratio panels (4:1) demonstrated lower stiffness and substantially larger deformation capacity compared to moderate aspect ratio panels (2:1). However, based on the test results there is likely a lower bound for aspect ratio (at 2:1) where it ceases to benefit deformation capacity of the wall. This is due to the transition of the wall behaviour from rocking to sliding. Phenomenological models were used in modelling CLT shear walls. Archetype selection and analysis procedure was demonstrated and nonlinear time history analysis was conducted using different wall configurations.