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.
FPInnovations carried out a survey with consultants and researchers on the use of analytical models and software packages related to the analysis and design of mass timber buildings. The responses confirmed that a lack of suitable models and related information for material properties of timber connections was creating an impediment to the design and construction of this type of buildings. Furthermore, there is currently a lack of computer models and expertise for carrying out performance-based design for wood buildings, in particular seismic and/or fire performance design.
In this study, a sophisticated constitutive model for wood-based composite material under stress and temperature was developed. This constitutive model was programmed into a user-subroutine which can be added to most general-purpose finite element software. The developed model was validated with test results of a laminated veneer lumber (LVL) beam and glulam bolted connection under force and/or fire.
This report begins with a discussion of the mechanisms of flame spread over combustible materials while describing the NBCC prescriptive solutions that establish the acceptable fire performance of interior finish materials. It is noted that while flame spread ratings do give an indication of the fire performance of products in building fires, the data generated are not useful as input to fire models that predict fire growth in buildings.
The cone calorimeter test is then described in some detail. Basic data generated in the cone calorimeter on the time to ignition and heat release rates are shown to be fundamental properties of wood products which can be useful as input to fire models for predicting fire growth in buildings.
The report concludes with the recommendation that it would be useful to run an extensive set of cone calorimeter tests on SCL, glue-laminated timber and CLT products. The fundamental data could be most useful for validating models for predicting flame spread ratings of massive timber products and useful as input to comprehensive computer fire models that predict the course of fire in buildings. It is also argued that the cone calorimeter would be a useful tool in assessing fire performance during product development and for quality control purposes.
Cross-laminated lumber (CLT), a relatively new construction system for which construction interest in North America is growing, is helping to define a new class of solid wood products. . CLT is a very promising wood-based structural component with high potential to provide cost-effective building solutions for residential, commercial and institutional buildings...
The fire-resistance rating of a building element in an assembly has traditionally been assessed by subjecting a replicate of that assembly to the standard fire-resistance test ULC S101 in Canada, ASTM E119 in the USA and ISO 834 in most other countries. This paper presents two (2) calculation procedures for determining the fire-resistance of massive timber members in an attempt to develop a suitable calculation method that would provide accurate fire-resistance predictions when compared to test data and potentially be an alternative design method to conducting fire-resistance tests in compliance with ULC S101 and to the current Appendix D-2.11 of the National Building Code of Canada. Comparisons between the proposed methodologies and the experimental data for beams, columns and tension members show generally good agreement. Predicted failure times have been compared to experimental data that are publicly available.
The objective of this work is to generate fire resistance data for NLT assemblies to address significant gaps in technical knowledge. This research will support designers and builders in the use of mass timber assemblies in larger and taller buildings, as well as provide scientific justification for Authorities Having Jurisdiction (AHJ) to review and accept this construction method. The intent is to demonstrate that NLT construction can meet or exceed NBCC fire safety requirements for use in buildings of mass timber construction.
The data could be used towards the inclusion of an NLT fire resistance calculation methodology into Annex B of CSA 086 - Engineering Design for Wood, which currently addresses only glue-laminated timber (GLT), structural composite lumber (SCL) and cross-laminated timber (CLT).
The objective of this work is to generate fire performance data for NLT assemblies to address gaps in technical knowledge. This project aims to study how the size of gaps between NLT boards might affect charring of an assembly and its overall fire performance. This research will support designers and builders in the use of mass timber assemblies in larger and taller buildings, by ensuring fire safe designs.