This report provides an overview of major changes occurred in the recent decade to design and construction of the building envelope of wood and wood-hybrid construction. It also covers some new or unique considerations required to improve building envelope performance, due to evolutions of structural systems, architectural design, energy efficiency requirements, or use of new materials. It primarily aims to help practicioners better understand wood-based building envelope systems to improve design and construction practices. The information provided should also be useful to the wood industry to better understand the demands for wood products in the market place. Gaps in research are identified and summarized at the end of this report.
Nail-Laminated Timber (NLT) and box beam are efficient and economical engineered wood products. Although NLT has been used in North America for more than a century, only in recent years it has gained renewed interests as they have been seen as the most economical panel products used in mass timber buildings. Box beams, on the other hand, are lightweight and generally possess higher strength and stiffness than comparable-sized solid timber and are more efficient than solid timber large spans and loads.
In this report, existing design provisions and their limitations for the design and construction of NLT in box beam in Canadian standards are reviewed. For NLT, there is a general lack of information related to manufacturing, design and construction to ensure consistent manufacturing and installation practices. Therefore, it is difficult to research and document with confidence the full range of performance that can be achieved with NLT. It is therefore recommended that a North American product standard and design information on structural performance, floor vibration, fire resistance, acoustic performance, and construction risk mitigation measures (e.g. moisture and fire) be developed.
In CSA 086, design methods are limited to box beams with flanges and webs bonded with glue. As the flanges and webs of a box beam can be assembled by either glue or mechanical fasteners, it is recommended that design provisions for box beam with mechanical joints be also developed. With the information in Eurocode 5 and relevant supporting research papers, it is ready to be implemented.
The objective of the current project is to develop a performance-based design process for wood-based design systems that would meet the objectives and functional statements set forth in the National Building Code of Canada. More specifically, this report discusses the fire and seismic performance of buildings, as identified as a priority in a previous FPInnovations report (Dagenais, C. (2016). Development of Performance Criteria for Wood-Based Building Systems).
Sustainable, safe, durable, cost-effective and efficient; wood is used across Canada in occupancy classes such as business, residential, commercial and assembly. In the United States, many mixed-use buildings have been designed as “podium” buildings; a wood structure bearing on a podium of noncombustible construction. The International Building Code includes provisions that allow wood buildings, often housing residential or business occupancies, to be constructed over a podium of noncombustible construction accommodating mercantile or assembly occupancies.
The concept of a horizontal fire separation, acting to a certain degree as a “horizontal firewall”, was introduced in the International Building Code in the mid-2000s, allowing the podium to be considered a separate and distinct building from the wood structure that sits overtop. Since podium structures are becoming increasingly “à la mode” in the construction industry, integrating the horizontal fire separation concept into the National Building Code of Canada would allow the industry to benefit from the advantages of wood construction in mixed-use buildings
At the request of FPInnovations, this technical report has been prepared as a guideline for the implementation of design provisions for wood podium buildings into the National Building Code of Canada. Various strategies, special considerations, and possible risks for fire safety in this type of building are explored.
A survey was conducted under the "Renessaince in Wood Construction" project that was funded by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) under the Transformative Technologies Program to see information about numerical modelling on mass timber buildings. A questionnaire was sent to designers and researchers covering different performance attributes. The compiled information includes the available software packages and resources of empirical equations that are used by the designers and researchers for predicting the structural, fire, acoustic, and building envelope (energy and durability) performance of mass timber buildings, and the challenges that they are facing in using those tools. This report summarizes the input obtained from practicing designers and researchers who responded to this survey.