DOI link: https://doi.org/10.3929/ethz-b-000405617
With the rise of complex and free-form timber architecture enabled by digital design and fabrication, timber manufacturing companies increasingly need to produce curved components. In this thesis, a novel approach for the manufacturing of curved timber building components is proposed and analyzed. Following biological role models such as the bending of pine cone scales, a smart way to curve wood at large-scale is given by the biomimetic concept of bi-layered laminated wood. This principle enables large programmed material deformations upon controlled moisture content change. The main objectives of this thesis are the in-depth understanding of the mechanics of self-shaping wood bilayers and the up-scaling of the already known principle from the laboratory to the industrial scale in order to enable an application as form-stable curved elements in architecture. Hereby, the main challenges addressed are the accurate prediction of shape-change in terms of the natural variability in wood material parameters, the scale-dependent impact of moisture gradients on mechanical behavior, and the influence of wood-specific time- and moisture-dependent deformation mechanisms such as creep or mechano-sorption in the shaping process. Major impacts of these aspects on the shaping behavior could be demonstrated by the use of continuum-mechanical material models adapted to wood, both in the form of analytical and numerical models. Based on the gained insight, the up-scaling process to industrial manufacturing was successfully made possible. A collaborative project realized in 2019, the 14 m high Urbach tower, is presented as a proof of concept for application and competitiveness of the novel biomimetic method for production of curved mass timber components. Furthermore, next to self-shaping by bending to single-curved components, possibilities and limitations for achieving double-curved structures using wood bilayers in a gridshell configuration are analyzed and discussed.
Use of timber as a construction material has entered a period of renaissance since the development of high-performance engineered wood products, enabling larger and taller buildings to be built. In addition, due to substantial contribution of the building sector to global energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste production, sustainable solutions are needed, for which timber has shown a great potential as a sustainable, resilient and renewable building alternative, not only for single family homes but also for mid-rise and high-rise buildings. Both recent technological developments in timber engineering and exponentially increased use of engineered wood products and wood composites reflect in deficiency of current timber codes and standards. This paper presents an overview of some of the current challenges and emerging trends in the field of seismic design of timber buildings. Currently existing building codes and the development of new generation of European building codes are presented. Ongoing studies on a variety topics within seismic timber engineering are presented, including tall timber and hybrid buildings, composites with timber and seismic retrofitting with timber. Crucial challenges, key research needs and opportunities are addressed and critically discussed.
The feasibility of manufacturing cross-laminated timber (CLT) from southern yellow pine (United States grown) treated with micronized copper azole type C (MCA-C) preservative was evaluated. Lumber (2x6 visually graded no. 2 boards) was treated to two retention levels (1.0 and 2.4 kg/m3 ), planed to a thickness of 35 mm, and assembled along with an untreated control group using three adhesive systems following product specifications: melamine formaldehyde (MF), resorcinol formaldehyde (RF), and one-component polyurethane (PUR). Block shear and delamination tests were conducted to examine the bonding performance in accordance with ASTM D905 and ASTM D2559 Standards, respectively. One-way analysis of variance and Kruskal-Wallis H test were conducted to evaluate the effects of preservative retention and adhesive type on block shear strength (BSS) and wood failure percentage (WFP). Regardless of adhesive type, the 1.0 kg/m3 retention treatment significantly lowered BSS compared to the untreated control. CLT composed of the laminations treated at 2.4 kg/m3 maintained BSS when PUR and RF were used but not MF. The average WFP of each CLT configuration ranged from 89% to 99%. The untreated CLT specimens did not experience any delamination under accelerated weathering cycles. The delamination rates of the treated specimens assembled using MF and RF increased with the preservative retention level, while PUR provided delamination rates less than 1% to the laminations treated at both levels. These combined data suggest that, under the conditions tested, PUR provided overall better bonding performance than MF and RF for MCA-C treated wood.
Properly designed wooden truss bridges are environmentally compatible construction systems. The sharp decline in the erection of such structures in the past decades can be led back to the great effort needed for design and production. Digital parametric design and automated prefabrication approaches allow for a substantial improvement of the efficiency of design and manufacturing processes. Thus, if combined with a constructive wood protection following traditional building techniques, highly efficient sustainable structures are the result. The present paper describes the conceptual design for a wooden truss bridge drawn up for the overpass of a two-lane street crossing the university campus of one of Vienna’s main universities. The concept includes the greening of the structure as a shading design element. After an introduction, two Austrian traditional wooden bridges representing a good and a bad example for constructive wood protection are presented, and a state of the art of the production of timber trusses and greening building structures is given as well. The third part consists of the explanation of the boundary conditions for the project. Subsequently, in the fourth part, the conceptual design, including the design concept, the digital parametric design, the optimization, and the automated prefabrication concept, as well as the potential greening concept are discussed, followed by a summary and outlook on future research.
More and more people live in cities. The building industry is responsible for 33% of waste production and is set to increase further to 50% in 2025. The energy efficiency is continuously increased, but the waste production at the end of life of a building is largely ignored. This design proposes a solution in the form of a zero-waste high-rise design. It uses only recyclable or renewable materials. Mass-timber is chosen as the main material as it is not only renewable and easily reusable, it is also a storage of CO2. The design reuses the foundation of existing buildings, and with the lightweight properties of mass-timber, increases the density on the location by building taller. The design is four times taller as the current buildings. To allow for sustainable densification, the design offers public and collective qualities. The building has been designed is such a way to be easily refitted during its life cycle or to be completely disassembled at the end of life.
This study illustrates the range of possible wood construction approaches for school buildings that are up to four storeys in height. As land values continue to rise, particularly in higher-density urban environments, schools with smaller footprints will become increasingly more necessary to satisfy enrollment demands. There are currently a number of planned new school projects throughout British Columbia that anticipate requiring either three-or four-storey buildings, and it is forecasted that the demand for school buildings of this size will continue to rise.
This study is closely related to the report Risk Analysis and Alternative Solution for Three- and Four-Storey Schools of Mass Timber and/or Wood-Frame Construction prepared by GHL Consultants, which explores the building code related considerations of wood construction for school buildings that are up to four storeys in height. Though wood construction offers a viable structural material option for these buildings, the British Columbia Building Code (BCBC 2018) currently limits schools comprised of wood construction to a maximum of two storeys, while also imposing limits on the overall floor area. As such, the reader is referred to the GHL report for further information regarding building code compliance (with a particular emphasis on fire protection) for wood school buildings.
This series highlights five whole building life cycle assessments (WBLCAs) of buildings incorporating the building material known as cross-laminated timber (CLT) into some or all of their structure, using a primary cradle-to-grave system boundary. This case study series will serve as an educational resource for academics, professionals, and CLT project stakeholders. While there is some uncertainty about the best way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from architecture and construction, using CLT and other wood building materials is one possible means to reduce the emissions associated with a building’s materials. When forests are managed sustainably, wood construction materials can contribute to climate change mitigation goals as an indefinite carbon store and as a replacement of other fossil-fuel intensive materials. WBLCA is an assessment method to estimate the environmental impacts of buildings; this series offers insight into the current possibilities and limitations of WBLCA for CLT buildings. The series begins with background information on WBLCA methods and CLT, a review of previously published CLT building WBLCAs, and a life cycle assessment of an individual CLT wall element using the WBLCA softwares Tally® and Athena Impact Estimator for Buildings (Athena IE).
This paper begins with an overview of the state of the art in the design of multi-story mass timber structures and their lateral systems in low to moderate seismic regions. Boston, MA has been chosen as the location for a feasibility analysis of 8-, 12-, and 18- story mass timber structures. These building prototypes are used to compare the structural and environmental efficiencies and tradeoffs of replacing conventional concrete cores with mass timber braced frames and steel-timber hybrid frames. The lateral resistance of prototype configurations is evaluated through numerical analyses to understand in more detail the characteristics of an efficient mass timber lateral system. Finding an optimal timber gravity system configuration is followed by examining lateral resistance of the prototypes. The resulting designs demonstrate a practical approach to assist designers in selecting a lateral system during the early stages of conceptual design. This research was conducted in parallel with a related study for implementation of mass timber in affordable housing in Boston, enabling a comparison between composite systems and all-timber structures.