FPInnovations initiated this project to demonstrate the ability of wood exit stairs in mid-rise buildings to perform adequately in a fire when NBCC requirements are followed, with the intent of changing perceptions of the fire safety of wood construction. The objective of this research is to investigate further the fire safety afforded by exit stair shafts of combustible construction, with the ultimate objective of better consistency between the provincial and national building codes with respect to fire requirements for exit stair shafts in mid-rise wood-frame construction.
FPInnovations conducted a research project to study the construction of mid-rise wood exit shafts in Ontario and Québec. The scope of the project included an investigation into the concerns that have been raised in regards to the use of wood exits in mid-rise buildings, an analysis of recent Canadian fire statistics in residential multi-family structures, and a fire demonstration of a mass timber wall and supported light-frame floor. This report describes the fire demonstration completed as part of this project; this report acts as a supplement to the full project report.
The fire resistance tests and the demonstration fire were performed to support the approval and construction of a tall wood building in Quebec City; the building is planned to be 13 storeys which includes a 12-storey wood structure above a 1-storey concrete podium.
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 codes. Elevator shaft walls constructed with wood-based materials have the advantages of material compatibility, use of sustainable materials, and ease of construction.
In this exploratory study, selected elevator shaft wall designs built with nail-laminated-timber (NLT) structural elements were tested to investigate their sound insulation performance because little is known about the sound insulation performance of such wall assemblies. The tests were carried out in an acoustic mock-up facility in accordance to standard requirements, and provide preliminary data on the sound insulation performance of elevator shaft walls built with NLT panels.
Four different elevator shaft walls built with NLT panels were tested and their measured apparent sound insulation class (ASTC) ratings ranged from 18 to 39 depending on their construction details. Some of the reasons that may have contributed to the ASTC ratings obtained for the elevator shaft walls described in this report as well as recommendations for future designs were provided.
It is recommended to continue improving the sound insulation of elevator shaft walls built with NLT panels to meet or exceed the minimum requirements in building codes.