The U.S. Mass Timber Construction Manual was developed to give contractors and installers a framework for the planning, procurement, and management of mass timber projects, and to provide a bridge from their experience with other systems. Mass timber is unique in that it draws installation techniques from other construction types, so people with concrete, precast, tilt-up, and structural steel experience can readily adapt to these materials. However, understanding how mass timber differs from other building systems is key to cost effectiveness.
The manual was produced with primary funding from the U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Rural Communities, in collaboration with WoodWorks’ mass timber manufacturing partners in the U.S. and Canada. While intended primarily for GCs and installers, it is a useful reference for all members of a mass timber project team and anyone interested in the construction of mass timber buildings.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels are increasingly used in mid-rise buildings or even taller structures in North America. However, prolonged exposure to moisture during construction and in service is a durability concern for most wood products including CLT. To investigate practical solutions for reducing on-site wetting of mass timber construction, CLT specimens with a range of moisture protection measures, in six groups were tested in the backyard of FPInnovations’ Vancouver laboratory from Oct. 2017 to Jan. 2018. This study investigates the wetting and drying behaviours of the tested CLT specimens through 2-D hygrothermal simulations. The simulations are performed for base specimens (no protection measures) of group 1 (without joint or plywood spline) and group 2 (with a butt joint and plywood spline). For group 1, three data sources of material properties are used to create the models, and the data that led to the best agreement between simulations and measurement are used for creating the models of group 2. For group 2, two types of hygrothermal models are created with or without considering the differences in water absorption between the transverse and the longitudinal grain orientations. In addition, rain penetration is taken into account for the joint area. It is found that the model with considering the differences between transverse and longitudinal grain orientations shows a better agreement than that without considering such differences.
The two primary considerations for construction project management are budget and time management. Modular construction has the potential to improve construction productivity by minimizing time and costs while improving safety and quality. Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels are beneficial for modular construction due to the high level of prefabrication, adequate dimensional stability, and good mechanical performance that they provide. Accordingly, CLT modular construction can be a feasible way to speed up the construction and provide affordable housing. However, an in-depth study is needed to streamline the logistics of CLT modular construction supply chain management. CLT modular construction can be performed by two primary means based on type of modules produced: panelized (2D) and volumetric (3D). This research aims to help the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry by developing a tool to assess the impact of various logistical factors on both panelized and volumetric modular construction productivity. Discrete-Event Simulation (DES) models were developed for panelized and volumetric CLT modular construction based on a hypothetical case study and using data collected from superintendents and project managers. Sensitivity analysis is conducted using the developed models to explore the impact of selected manufacturing and logistical parameters on overall construction efficiency. Comparing volumetric and panelized simulations with the same number of off-site crews revealed that the volumetric model has lower on-site process duration while the off-site process is significantly longer. Accordingly, from manufacturing to the final module assembly, the total time for the volumetric model is longer than panelized model. Moreover, the simulations showed that volumetric modular construction is associated with less personnel cost since the main process is performed off-site, which has lower labor costs and a smaller number of crews required on-site. This framework could be used to identify the optimum construction process for reducing the time and cost of the project and aid in decision-making regarding the scale of modularity to be employed for project.
This paper discusses the digital automation workflows and co-design methods that made possible the comprehensive robotic prefabrication of the BUGA Wood Pavilion—a large-scale production case study of robotic timber construction. Latest research in architectural robotics often focuses on the advancement of singular aspects of integrated digital fabrication and computational design techniques. Few researchers discuss how a multitude of different robotic processes can come together into seamless, collaborative robotic fabrication workflows and how a high level of interaction within larger teams of computational design and robotic fabrication experts can be achieved. It will be increasingly important to discuss suitable methods for the management of robotics and computational design in construction for the successful implementation of robotic fabrication systems in the context of the industry. We present here how a co-design approach enabled the organization of computational design decisions in reciprocal feedback with the fabrication planning, simulation and robotic code generation. We demonstrate how this approach can implement direct and curated reciprocal feedback between all planning domains—paving the way for fast-paced integrative project development. Furthermore, we discuss how the modularization of computational routines simplify the management and computational control of complex robotic construction efforts on a per-project basis and open the door for the flexible reutilization of developed digital technologies across projects and building systems.
Many strategies have been investigated seeking for efficiency in construction sector, since it has been pointed out as the largest consumer of raw materials worldwide and responsible of about 1/3 of the global CO2 emissions. While operational carbon has been strongly reduced due to building regulations, embodied carbon is becoming dominating. Resources and processes involved from material extraction to building erection should be carefully optimized aiming to reduce the emissions from the cradle to service. New advancements in timber engineering have shown the capabilities of this renewable and CO2 neutral material in multi-storey buildings. Since their erection is based on prefabrication, an accurate construction management is eased where variations and waste are sensible to be minimized. Through this paper, the factors constraining the use of wood as main material for multi-storey buildings will be explored and the potential benefits of using Lean Construction principles in the timber industry are highlighted aiming to achieve a standardized workflow from design to execution. Hence, a holistic approach towards industrialization is proposed from an integrated BIM model, through an optimized supply chain of off-site production, and to a precise aligned scheduled on-site assembly.