Project contact is Étienne Marceau at Université Laval
The objective of this project is to identify the risk factors taken into account in the pricing of an insurance contract for a construction site. This project aims to synthesize the quantitative approaches used in practice and presented in academic research for the pricing of home insurance and commercial insurance. Then, we aim to identify the preventive measures that can be taken to reduce the impact of different perils in the insurance of a construction site in wood or other.
Achieving sustainable development requires the decoupling of economic growth from the use of non-renewable resources. This depends on industry adopting unconventional approaches to production. This research explores the root causes of barriers to the adoption of such approaches in the construction industry, and applies a behavioural model to assess whether companies are hindered by capability, opportunity or motivation.
The long history of lowest-cost tendering in construction has led to a path-dependent lock-in to conventional market-driven objectives of cost and risk reduction; it is suggested that locked-in companies lack the commercial opportunity and hence motivation, rather than the capability, to adopt approaches perceived to increase cost or risk. Such companies will therefore tend to resist unconventional approaches, restricting the physical opportunity for other project participants. This theory is explored in a case study of first adoptions of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in UK projects, using a survey and series of semi-structured interviews.
The case study found that project contexts created market niches. This provided designers, who were motivated to use CLT, the opportunity to promote its use in the project. CLT was seen as key to successful resolution of project constraints, thereby providing motivation to other project participants to adopt the material.
Throughout the last two decades the timber building sector has experienced a steady growth in multi-storey construction. Although there has been a growing number of research focused on trends, benefits, and disadvantages in timber construction from various technical perspectives, so far there is no extensive literature on the trajectory of emerging architectural typologies. This paper presents an examination of architectural variety and spatial possibilities in current serial and modular multi-storey timber construction. It aims to draw a parallel between architectural characteristics and their relation to structural systems in timber. The research draws from a collection of 350 contemporary multi-storey timber building projects between 2000 and 2021. It consists of 300 built projects, 12 projects currently in construction, and 38 design proposals. The survey consists of quantitative and qualitative project data, as well as classification of the structural system, material, program, massing, and spatial organization of the projects. It then compares the different structural and design aspects to achieve a comprehensive overview of possibilities in timber construction. The outcome is an identification of the range of morphologies and a better understanding of the design space in current serial and modular multi-storey mass timber construction.
Oregon and southwest Washington are poised as a manufacturing hub for the emerging Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) market in the United States. The region is bountiful with luscious forestland, a large percentage of which is designated as working forests. Thirty million acres of forest span across Oregon alone. As a value add product that has environmental and social co-benefits, CLT is economically competitive as a structural framing product for multi-story, even high-rise building construction: a market previously dominated by concrete and steel.
The research and outreach activities performed as part of this 2015-2017 study have played a vital role in continuing the advancement of the CLT market in Oregon & SW Washington. Eager regional stakeholders see CLT and other mass timber panel products as forest products capable of providing economic benefit to communities within our region that had grown around forest product industries.
Forest Service/USDA Wood Innovations Grants
Recipient Point of Contact: Annie Perkins
Location: Washington, DC
The mass timber sector needs to gain greater market share of the broader building industry in order to increase demand for wood procured from U.S. forestlands. This project helps to increase demand for mass timber in three key ways by:
1. tapping into the industrial building sector currently not leveraging wood
2. quantifying the social benefits of building with wood procured from responsibly managed forests
3. telling the story of how building with wood procured from responsibly managed forests contribute to social and environmental benefits.
Through a collaboration of forest, sustainability and building experts, this project will:
(1) provide a replicable, scalable roadmap leveraging the use of mass timber in a traditional industrial building application
(2) quantify social Return on Investment (ROI) and act as a template for how an otherwise traditional industrial building can positively impact society
(3) meet Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) and sustainability goals
(4) promote healthy communities all while meeting urban design aesthetic criteria
This innovative and unique, showcase-worthy project helps bridge the gap and tell the story of how building with wood procured from responsibly managed forests helps address numerous benefits in and beyond the forest. Furthermore, it will illustrate how these benefits can be realized when constructing in-demand, industrial buildings.
Timber-concrete composite (TCC) ceilings build on the idea of making use of the advantageous properties of both materials symbiotically. While concrete, as the upper layer, is used to absorb the compression forces, wood is used in the lower layer to absorb the tensile forces. Many systems have been developed with special attention paid to solutions with both a continuous concrete and wood layer. This article introduces a new system developed with the primary focus set on the most efficient material use by introducing a free space between the concrete and the wood layer using special vault shaped moldings. The first part of the paper contains an introduction including a short overview of different embodiments of TCC floor systems. The second part focuses on the design of the new system and gives an overview of the estimated structural performance. In the third part the environmental performance of the new system is discussed in comparison to chosen existing systems focusing at the the whole life-cycle including a re-use (A-D).
Although not yet seen as common practice, building with cross laminated timber (CLT) is gaining momentum in North America. Behind the scenes of the widely publicized project initiatives such as the Wood Innovation Design Centre Building in Canada and the recent U.S. Tall Wood Building Competition, substantial research, engineering, and development has been completed or is underway to enable the adoption of this innovative building system. This paper presents a brief overview of the current status of CLT building development in North America, highlighting some recent U.S. and Canadian research efforts related to CLT system performance, and identifies future CLT research directions based on the needs of the North American market. The majority of the research summarized herein is from a recent CLT research workshop in Madison, Wisconsin, USA, organized by the USDA Forest Products Laboratory. The opportunity and need for coordination in CLT research and development among the global timber engineering community are also highlighted in the conclusions of this paper.
Mass timber products, wood-based engineered construction materials, are becoming widely prevalent in the design and construction sector. Being a cost-effective, carbon efficient, durable, and sustainable building option, mass timber construction has already had a profound impact in residential and non-residential applications in Europe, and it has been reaching new heights in Canada, and recently gaining momentum in the United States. All architects, builders, designers, and forestry communities including the forest product industry, landowners, rural communities, and environmentalists have reason to be excited about these promising new timber products. Mass timber products are envisioned as substitutes for traditional building materials like concrete, masonry, and steel. The most widespread mass timber product is cross-laminated timber (CLT), which was first introduced in the early 1990s in Austria and Germany. It is currently on a rapid upward trajectory in North America. The main purpose of this article is to provide a brief overview of CLT and its market status and future prospects in North America.
In this project, a conceptual but realistic 20-storey building of hybrid construction incorporating massive timber panels and other structural materials was identified. The project team, consisting of three practicing consultants and 6 graduate student and post-doctoral researchers from NEWBuildS, undertook an analysis and engineering design of the demonstration building. An advisory group that includes FPInnovations scientists, NEWBuildS supervisors of the graduate students and Post Doctoral Fellows, provides technical support to the project team. The performance attributes addressed in the project were structural performance under seismic and wind load, fire resistance and building envelope. . This publication documents the analysis and design of the demonstration building, and identifies technical issues that require further study.
In this study market opportunities for treated glue-laminated (glulam) products were investigated in the industrial wood sector. The main benefits of treated glulam are through-product treatment and the ability to manufacture treated products in shapes and sizes that do not fit into common treating chambers. These attributes provide for very durable and large glulam structures that are appropriate for outdoor use. For these reasons bridges, power poles, and sound abatement barriers were investigated. These are markets where wood has lost market share to or is being challenged by concrete and steel substitutes.
The vehicular bridge market was once heavy to the use of wood. Today wood accounts for only 7% of the number bridges in the US and less than 0.9% of the actual surface area of bridges in place. In interviewing municipalities in Canada it is clear that wood is not the preferred material with many wood bridges being replaced by concrete. Further, none of the municipalities contacted were planning wood bridges. However, wood bridges are still being installed. In the US 0.9% of the bridges installed by area in 2007 were wood. This is good news as wood is holding its market share. Steering clear of high volume or large bridges, local bridges are well suited for wood as they are plentiful, small in scale, and many are in disrepair. If 20% of local bridges were built with wood in Canada this would have equalled approximately $51 million in wood bridge construction in 2007.
Municipalities are much more open to the use of wood for pedestrian bridges and overpasses. Their quick construction and aesthetics are positive attributes in this application. One municipality contacted is planning multiple wood pedestrian bridges in the next five years. However, for the purpose of this market review there is little published information on pedestrian bridges.
Noise abatement barriers are a good high-volume technical fit for treated glulam. Increases in traffic and current road infrastructure improvements will lead to more demand for sound abatement in the future. This market is dominated by concrete, but at a very high price. If treated glulam can give adequate durability and sound performance properties it would be approximately 20% cheaper than concrete. The market for sound barriers in Canada could utilize up to 10 mmbf of wood per year to construct 80 km of barrier. This product can also be marketed as a high-performance acoustic fence for residential markets.
Treated glulam was also considered for utility poles. It is transmission grade poles where glulam would best fit the market as the demand is for longer poles which are more difficult to get in solid wood. This type of pole is where wood is currently being displaced by tubular steel. If glulam poles were used in 25% of the replacement transmission poles per year this could equal 8 mmbf. Light poles or standards are another market to consider. While this is a relatively low volume market glulam light standards are a premium product in European markets.