A key question about new generation taller wood buildings is how they will perform over time in terms of durability and livability. This project will determine how best to measure these qualities by selecting sensors, determining testing and measurement protocols, and implementing testing assemblies in selected CLT buildings in Oregon. Future research will use the knowledge developed through this project to carry out post-occupancy monitoring, generating valuable new insights into building performance.
The cross laminated timber (CLT) technology is nowadays a well-known construction system, which that can be applied to several typologies of residential and commercial buildings. However some critical issues exist which limit the full development of the CLT construction technology: problems in handling, difficulty in assembling...
Project contact is Vikram Yadama at Washington State University
The broader impact/commercial potential of this PFI project is in development of a commercially-viable process for manufacturing high-performing, durable mass strand timber panels for building construction from low-value and underutilized small-diameter softwood trees, such as from hazardous fuel thinning operations for improved forest health. The broader impacts are: (1) advancement of discovery and understanding while promoting teaching, training, and learning by including students and faculty in the research; (2) enhancement of infrastructure for research and education by establishing collaborations between interdisciplinary, yet complementary academic and industry stakeholders; (3) broadening of research dissemination to enhance understanding by involving industry and academia in the research, publishing project results in diverse media sources, and presenting research results in several formats that will benefit a wide range of forest products industry stakeholders; and (4) improved economic competitiveness of the U.S. forest products industry. In addition, if this proof-of-concept research leads to commercial applications, the benefits to society are: (1) new products with reduced environmental impacts, improved durability, and longer service-life; (2) technology that increases the U.S. forest products industry's competitiveness through creation of new jobs and increased opportunities for potential exports; and (3) increased use of wood, an environmentally-friendly, renewable, sustainable, and carbon-sequestering material.
The proposed project addresses challenges facing cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels in mass timber construction. Construction currently requires extreme care to protect CLT panels from moisture while ensuring long-term durability. Although builders take measures to reduce moisture exposure, it is inevitable that the CLT panels will take on water during their service-life. This project addresses these problems by utilizing thermal modification to produce chemical-free, mass timber panels with increased resistance to moisture and decay and improved dimensional stability. The goals are to: (1) evaluate process-performance relationships for thermal modification of small-diameter wood strands, and (2) demonstrate the feasibility of manufacturing high-performance cross-laminated strand-veneer lumber (CLSVL) mass timber panels. The objectives are to: (1) demonstrate the feasibility of utilizing thermally modified laminated strand veneer lumber for production of high-performance CLSVL panels, and (2) determine the potential environmental impacts of the new CLSVL panels. The technical results include validation of a repeatable process for thermally modifying small-diameter pine strands, validation of a method for manufacturing CLSVL panels, verification of physical and mechanical performance of the CLSVL panels, and establishment of commercially-viable process-performance relationships to enable commercial production of the CLSVL mass timber panels.
The development of this primer commenced shortly after the 2018 launch of the Mass Timber Institute (MTI) centered at the University of Toronto. Funding for this publication was generously provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Although numerous jurisdictions have established design guides for tall mass timber buildings, architects and engineers often do not have access to the specialized building science knowledge required to deliver well performing mass timber buildings. MTI worked collaboratively with industry, design professionals, academia, researchers and code experts to develop the scope and content of this mass timber building science primer. Although provincially funded, the broader Canadian context underlying this publication was viewed as the most appropriate means of advancing Ontario’s nascent mass timber building industry. This publication also extends beyond Canada and is based on universally applicable principles of building science and how these principles may be used anywhere in all aspects of mass timber building technology. Specifically, these guidelines were developed to guide stakeholders in selecting and implementing appropriate building science practices and protocols to ensure the acceptable life cycle performance of mass timber buildings. It is essential that each representative stakeholder, developer/owner, architect/engineer, supplier, constructor, wood erector, building official, insurer, and facility manager, understand these principles and how to apply them during the design, procurement, construction and in-service phases before embarking on a mass timber building project.
When mass timber building technology has enjoyed the same degree of penetration as steel and concrete, this primer will be long outdated and its constituent concepts will have been baked into the training and education of design professionals and all those who fabricate, construct, maintain and manage mass timber buildings.
One of the most important reasons this publication was developed was to identify gaps in building science knowledge related to mass timber buildings and hopefully to address these gaps with appropriate research, development and demonstration programs. The mass timber building industry in Canada is still a collection of seedlings that continue to grow and as such they deserve the stewardship of the best available building science knowledge to sustain them until such time as they become a forest that can fend for itself.
This paper related to elimination of the deficiencies. The behaviour of multi-storey buildings braced with cores and CLT shear walls is examined based on numerical analyses. Two procedure for calibrating numerical analysis models are proposed using information from Eurocode 5  and specific experimental test data. This includes calibration of parameters that characterise connections between CLT panels and other CLT panels, building cores and shear walls. The aim is to make the characterizations of behaviours of connections that reflect how those connections perform within complete multi-storey superstructures, rather than in isolation or as parts of substructures. The earthquake action for cases studied was according to Eurocode 8  and using the appropriate behaviour factor (q factor). Results of analyses of entire buildings are presented in terms of principal elastic periods, base shear and up-lift forces. Discussion addresses key issues associated with behaviour of such systems and modelling them. Obtained results permit creation of appropriate guidelines and rules for design of the aforementioned types of hybrid buildings incorporating CLT wall panels.
This paper reports on a study examining the potential of reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the building sector by substituting multi-storey steel and concrete building structures with timber structures. Life cycle assessment (LCA) is applied to compare the climate change impact (CC) of a reinforced concrete (RC) benchmark structure to the CC of an alternative timber structure for four buildings ranging from 3 to 21 storeys. The timber structures are dimensioned to meet the same load criteria as the benchmark structures. The LCA comprises three calculation approaches differing in analysis perspective, allocation methods, and modelling of biogenic CO2 and carbonation of concrete. Irrespective of the assumptions made, the timber structures cause lower CC than the RC structures. By applying attributional LCA, the timber structures are found to cause a CC that is 34-84% lower than the RC structures. The large span is due to different building heights and methodological assumptions. The CC saving per m2 floor area obtained by substituting a RC structure with a timber structure decrease slightly with building height up to 12 storeys, but increase from 12 to 21 storeys. From a consequential LCA perspective, constructing timber structures can result in avoided GHG emissions, indicated by a negative CC. Compared to the RC structures, this equal savings greater than 100%.