Rolling shear is one of the major concerns that significantly impact the performance of CLT walls if they are subjected to combined out-of-plane bending and compression loads. Because the effects of rolling shear and out-of-plane bending are coupled to each other, prediction of the load-carrying capacity of CLT wall is always a challenge for the design of CLT structures. Current design codes employ an Ayrton-Perry type interaction equation as the failure criterion to check the safety of a CLT panel loaded with combined bending and compression. Nevertheless, there is no model available to predict their load-carrying capacity. The presented work aims at developing an analytical model to predict the load-carrying capacity of CLT wall loaded with combined out-of-plane bending and compression. In total 12 five-layer CLT panels loaded with different initial load eccentricities were tested to investigate the failure modes. Observed during the test were two ultimate failure modes, i.e., compression crush on the concave side and tension rupture in convex side. Based on these failure modes and deeming the test member as a beam-column, an analytical model which takes rolling shear effects into account to predict the load-carry capacity of CLT compression-bending members was developed. An explicit formula based on compression failure mode was proposed. The model is capable of determining the distribution of rolling shear stress along longitudinal direction, rolling shear-induced axial force and moments in CLT beam-columns. By calculating the load-carrying capacities of the specimens tested in this study as well as the additional three- and seven-layer specimens tested by another studies, it was found that the compression failure mode-based formula can provide good agreements with the test results.
As the population continues to grow in China’s urban settings, the building sector contributes to increasing levels of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Concrete and steel are the two most common construction materials used in China and account for 60% of the carbon emissions among all building components. Mass timber is recognized as an alternative building material to concrete and steel, characterized by better environmental performance and unique structural features. Nonetheless, research associated with mass timber buildings is still lacking in China. Quantifying the emission mitigation potentials of using mass timber in new buildings can help accelerate associated policy development and provide valuable references for developing more sustainable constructions in China. This study used a life cycle assessment (LCA) approach to compare the environmental impacts of a baseline concrete building and a functionally equivalent timber building that uses cross-laminated timber as the primary material. A cradle-to-gate LCA model was developed based on onsite interviews and surveys collected in China, existing publications, and geography-specific life cycle inventory data. The results show that the timber building achieved a 25% reduction in global warming potential compared to its concrete counterpart. The environmental performance of timber buildings can be further improved through local sourcing, enhanced logistics, and manufacturing optimizations.
Mass timber products are growing in popularity as a substitute for steel and concrete, reducing embodied carbon in the built environment. This trend has raised questions about the sustainability of the U.S. timber supply. Our research addresses concerns that rising demand for mass timber products may result in unsustainable levels of harvesting in coniferous forests in the United States. Using U.S. Department of Agriculture U.S. Forest Service Forest Inventory and Analysis (FIA) data, incremental U.S. softwood (coniferous) timber harvests were projected to supply a high-volume estimate of mass timber and dimensional lumber consumption in 2035. Growth in reserve forests and riparian zones was excluded, and low confidence intervals were used for timber growth estimates, compared with high confidence intervals for harvest and consumption estimates. Results were considered for the U.S. in total and by three geographic regions (North, South, and West). In total, forest inventory growth in America exceeds timber harvests including incremental mass timber volumes. Even the most optimistic projections of mass timber growth will not exceed the lowest expected annual increases in the nation’s harvestable coniferous timber inventory.
Fire safety remains a major challenge for engineered timber buildings. Their combustible nature challenges the design principles of compartmentation and structural integrity beyond burnout, which are inherent to the fire resistance framework. Therefore, self-extinction is critical for the fire-safe design of timber buildings.
This paper is the first of a three-part series that seeks to establish the fundamental principles underpinning a design framework for self-extinction of engineered timber. The paper comprises: a literature review introducing the body of work developed at material and compartment scales; and the design of a large-scale testing methodology which isolates the fundamental phenomena to enable the development and validation of the required design framework.
Research at the material scale has consolidated engineering principles to quantify self-extinction using external heat flux as a surrogate of the critical mass loss rate, and mass transfer or Damköhler numbers. At the compartment scale, further interdependent, complex phenomena influencing self-extinction occurrence have been demonstrated. Time-dependent phenomena include encapsulation failure, fall-off of charred lamellae and the burning of the movable fuel load, while thermal feedback is time-independent. The design of the testing methodology is described in reference to these fundamental phenomena.
Friction-based dampers are a valid solution for non-invasive seismic retrofitting interventions of existing structures, particularly reinforced-concrete (RC) structures. The design of friction-based dampers is challenging: underestimating the slip force prevents the full use of the potential of the device, which attains the maximum admissible displacement earlier than expected. By contrast, overestimating the slip force may cause delayed triggering of the device when the structure has suffered extensive damage. Therefore, designing the appropriate slip force is an optimization problem. The optimal slip force guarantees the highest inter-story drift reduction. The authors formulated the optimization problem for designing a specific class of friction-based dampers, the asymmetric friction connection (AFC), devised as part of the ongoing multidisciplinary Horizon 2020 research project e-SAFE (Energy and Seismic AFfordable rEnovation solutions). The seismic retrofitting technology involves the external application of modular prefabricated cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels on existing external walls. Friction dampers connect the CLT panels to the beams of two consecutive floors. The friction depends on the mutual sliding of two metal plates, pressed against each other by preloaded bolts. This study determines the optimal slip force, which guarantees the best seismic performance of an RC structural archetype. The authors investigate the nonlinear dynamic response of a coupled mechanical system (RC frame-friction damper) under a set of strong-motion earthquakes, using non-differential hysteresis models calibrated on the experimental cyclic responses. The solution of the optimization leads to the proposal of a preliminary simplified design procedure, useful for practitioners.
This study conducted a consequential Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) on two similar mid-rise apartment buildings applying either concrete or cross laminated timber (CLT) as the main structural material. The study further investigated inclusion of biogenic carbon and how this affects environmental impacts related to Global warming. Thus, two assessment scenarios were applied: A Base scenario, without accounting for biogenic carbon and a Biogenic carbon scenario that include a GWPbio factor to account for the use of biogenic carbon. The CLT building had the lowest impact score in 11 of 18 impact categories including Global warming. Operational energy use was the main contributor to the total impact with some variation across impact scores, but closely followed by impacts embodied in materials (incl. End-of-Life). An evaluation of the potential forest transformations required for fulfilling future projections for new building construction in 2060 showed that about 3% of current global forest area would be needed. This share was essentially independent of the selected building material as the main driver for forest transformation was found to be energy use during building operation. Thus, focus should primarily be on reducing deforestation related to energy generation rather than deforestation from production of building materials.
In this paper, the bending properties of a 3-ply cross-laminated bamboo and timber (CLBT), prefabricated with the bamboo mat-curtain panel and hem-fir lumber, were examined in the major and minor strength directions, and a 3-ply hem-fir cross-laminated timber (CLT) was taken as a control group. The analytical model for the sum of the orthogonal apparent bending moduli with the two types of layer classifications were proposed, and the two kinds of contribution models were developed to analyze the apparent bending modulus variation behavior of the CLBT and CLT panels in the major and minor strength directions. The experimental results showed that since the CLBT group had more internal orthogonal structures, its difference in the bending properties between the major and minor strength directions was lower than that of the CLT group. Furthermore, the proposed contribution models quantitatively analyzed the relationship between the apparent bending moduli of the CLBT and CLT panels and the corresponding composition layer characteristics. The contribution model to characterize the apparent bending modulus in major and minor strength directions demonstrated good agreement with the test results. Based on this model interpreted by three-dimensional figures, the contribution variation characteristics in the major and minor strength directions were revealed.
Although energy dissipation is one of the key factors in resisting seismic force, current design codes only take into account the ductility of the backbone properties of hysteresis curves, and the energy dissipation is usually not accounted for. This paper focuses on understanding and assessing the influence of energy dissipation due to different pinching levels on the seismic performance of a light-frame wood shear wall system. Timber structures with identical backbone curves but different pinching levels were analyzed. Incremental dynamic analyses were run on a single-degreeof-freedom system with varying pinching stiffness and residual strength. The seismic evaluation is presented by the spectral accelerations causing failure of the structure and the hysteresis energy dissipation under a suite of 22 ground motions (2 components per motion) over a wide range of fundamental periods of typical timber structures. Results show that the effect of pinching on the seismic performance of timber structures is period-dependent. Short period structures are more sensitive to the pinching of hysteresis loops compared to long period structures. The residual strength of pinching loops has a greater influence on the seismic performance than the stiffness of the pinching loops. Hysteretic energy dissipation derived from standard reversed-cyclic tests can provide a better understanding on the seismic resistance of timber structures. However, the hysteretic energy under a seismic event at near-collapse stage neither agrees with quasistatic cyclic test’s energy dissipation nor is well correlated to the maximum seismic capacity of the structure.
The vibration of cross laminated timber (CLT) floor is closely related to human-induced loadings. However, research and prediction approaches regarding human-induced vibration of the CLT floor have been mostly limited to a single-person excitation condition. This paper presents new prediction approaches to the vibration response of the CLT floor under multi-person loadings. The effect of multi-person loadings on the vibration performance of a CLT floor was investigated through numerical modelling, experimental testing and analytical investigation. A finite element model was developed through a computational software to perform an accurate analysis of human-induced loadings. An analytical model was established to predict human-induced vibration of the CLT floor under multi-person loadings. Experimental tests were conducted to validate the numerical modelling. Results of both numerical modelling and experimental testing showed that the vibration performance of the CLT floor under multi-person loadings was almost double that under single-person loadings. Thus, multi-person activities are more likely to cause the occupants feelings of discomfort. A method for predicting the human-induced vibration of the CLT floor under multi-person loadings was then developed. The measured response, numerical modelled response, and predicted response were compared using an existing design metric, vibration dose value (VDV). The results were largely consistent. It is therefore concluded that the proposed prediction method will enable engineers to design timber floor systems that consider multi-person loadings.
In recent years, timber has been considered as an alternative source of building material because of its sustainability and design efficiency. However, the cost competitiveness of timber buildings is still under study due to the lack of available cost information. This paper presents a comprehensive cost comparative analysis of a mass timber building mainly developed with cross-laminated timber (CLT). The actual construction cost of the project is compared with the modeled cost of the same building designed as a concrete option. The result shows that the construction cost of timber building is 6.43% higher than the modeled concrete building. The study further investigated the change orders associated with the project and found that the total cost of change orders contributed 5.62% to the final construction cost of mass timber building. The study is helpful to provide insight into the construction cost of typical mass timber buildings. It also can be used as a guide for the project owners to make decisions regarding their initial investments on a mass timber project.