Many real-scale fire tests have been performed on timber connections to analyze the mechanical behavior of timber connections in previous years. However, little research focused on the bending performance of glued laminated (glulam) timber beam bolted connections after fire exposure. In this paper, the three-dimensional numerical model of the glulam timber beam bolted connections was developed and validated by experimental results. The model can simulate temperature evolution in the connections and their mechanical behavior. In the real-scale test, three (3) samples were prepared for a four-point bending test at normal temperature, while another three (3) samples were tested after exposure to a 30-min standard fire and cooled down to normal temperature. The results show the reduction of the load-carrying capacity before and after exposure to the standard fire by 23.9 kN (71.8%), 8.3 kN (26.1%), and 20.2 kN (47.6%) for bolt diameters of 12 mm, 16 mm, and 20 mm, respectively. The numerical model aims to conduct a parametric study and propose the modification of the exponential decay constant, k, for tropical glulam timber to predict the load-carrying capacity of the glulam timber beam bolted connections after exposure to standard fire.
Fire safety greatly contributes to feeling safe, and it is a key parameter for the selection of building materials. The combustibility of timber is one of the main reasons to have the strict restriction on timber for use as a building material, especially for multistory buildings. Therefore, the main prerequisite for the use of timber in buildings is to ensure adequate fire resistance, using passive and active fire protection measures. This article contains the results of mechanical and fire experimental tests of both normal and innovative hollow glued laminated timber beams. A total of 10 timber beams were tested at ambient temperature, and 3 timber beams in fire conditions, which differed in cross-section type but also in the applied fire protection. The first beam was a normal GL beam without fire protection, the second a hollow beam covered by intumescent paint, while the third was also hollow, additionally protected by mineral wool infill inside the holes. The load-carrying capacity of the hollow beam in ambient conditions was estimated at 65% of the load-carrying capacity of a normal GL beam. Fire tests indicated that hollow timber beams with both intumescent paint and mineral wool infill failed at a similar time as a normal GL beam without fire protection. One-dimensional ß0 and notional charring rates ßn were obtained. Time to the protective material failure was 17 min. The main cause of failure of hollow beams was the appearance of delamination due to the reduction of the lamella bonding surface.
This InfoNote summarizes recent research and work in progress. A significant amount of fire research has been conducted on mass timber over the last 10 years in Canada. This has supported the successful design and construction of numerous low-, mid-and even high-rise wood buildings. This has also fostered the introduction of new provisions into the National Building Code of Canada which has made wood and mass timber construction more accessible. However, the fire performance of these systems remains a concern for many potential occupants or owners of these buildings, not to mention building officials and fire departments. Research at FPInnovations continues to support designers and builders in the use of mass timber assemblies by ensuring fire safe designs.
Changes to the 2021 International Building Code (IBC) have created opportunities for wood buildings that are much larger and taller than prescriptively allowed in past versions of the code. Occupant safety, and the need to ensure fire performance in particular, was a fundamental consideration as the changes were developed and approved. The result is three new construction types—Type IV-A, IV-B and IV-C—which are based on the previous Heavy Timber construction type (renamed Type IV-HT), but with additional fire protection requirements.
One of the main ways to demonstrate that a building will meet the required level of passive fire protection, regardless of structural materials, is through hourly fire-resistance ratings (FRRs) of its elements and assemblies. The IBC defines an FRR as the period of time a building element, component or assembly maintains the ability to confine a fire, continues to perform a given structural function, or both, as determined by the tests, or the methods based on tests, prescribed in Section 703.
FRRs for the new construction types are similar to those required for Type I construction, which is primarily steel and concrete. They are found in IBC Table 601, which includes FRR requirements for all construction types and building elements; however, other code sections should be checked for overriding provisions (e.g., occupancy separation, shaft enclosures, etc.) that may alter the requirement.
The results of an experimental programme on the structural behaviour, fire behaviour, and fire resistance of CLT rib panels are presented. The floor system consists of cross-laminated timber (CLT) plates rigidly bonded to glued-laminated timber ribs by means of screw-press gluing.
The experimental programme comprised ultimate-load tests at normal temperature as reference tests and full-scale fire resistance tests on four cross-sections. In addition to the reference tests, shear tests of the glue line between CLT plate and glued-laminated timber rib were performed for analysis of the cross-sections’ composite action.
The results of the reference tests show good agreement with results based on the simplified method according to EN 1995-1-1  and its final draft of CLT design . The importance of the glue line’s quality was confirmed. The fire resistance tests show results on the safe side compared to predictions of the fire behaviour according to EN 1995-1-2  and its actual draft . However, the fire resistance was underestimated due to conservative assumptions about the composite cross-section’s structural behaviour.
The experimental programme addressed the fire behaviour and fire resistance of CLT rib panels currently not covered in standards. The project’s overall aim is the development of design rules in fire for EN 1995-1-2.
The fire resistance of a structural building member includes its ability to survive a specified fire without loss of its loadbearing function. For glue laminated timber columns, fire resistance is determined by either subjecting a structural member to a standard fire test or by using one of two accepted calculation methods. For wood structural members, the calculation methods rely on char rates obtained from numerous standard fire tests. The existing calculation methods are limited under United States building codes to calculating fire resistance ratings of 120 minutes or less. However, over the past decade there has been a push towards tall wood buildings and designers desire more exposed wood to be permitted in buildings. This desire, coupled with the recent adoption of code language that permits tall wood buildings up to 18 stories, has resulted in the need to determine char rates for glue laminated timber to use in the fire resistance calculations up to 180 minutes. Here we present the experimental method and initial char rate results of glue laminated columns exposed to the standard fire.
When a new engineered wood adhesive is developed for use in a fire-rated assembly, it must first pass a full-scale fire test, for example, a test in accordance with ASTM E119 in the United States. Although full-scale tests serve as the necessary entry to the marketplace, they are extremely costly and reflect the performance of the entire assembly and not just the adhesive. As a result, it is difficult to quantify differences in adhesive performance under elevated temperatures or fire conditions with these tests. Here, we present the results from a new test method developed at the USDA Forest Service, Forest Products Laboratory, to examine adhesive wood performance in glulam beams. The test is part of a larger research program for examining different adhesive formulations. The goals of the intermediate-scale test were to understand differences between adhesive formulations and to provide guidance regarding the performance for full-scale adhesive tests.
Building elements are required to provide sufficient fire resistance based on requirements set forth in the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC). Annex B of the Canadian standard for wood engineering design (CSA O86-19) provides a design methodology to calculate the structural fire-resistance of large cross-section timber elements. However, it lacks at providing design provisions for connections. The objectives of this study are to understand the fire performance of modern mass timber fasteners such as self-tapping screws, namely to evaluate their thermo-mechanical behavior and to predict their structural fire-resistance for standard fire exposure up to two hours, as would be required for tall buildings in Canada. The results present the great fire performance of using self-tapping screws under a long time exposure on connections in mass timber construction. The smaller heated area of the exposed surface has limited thermal conduction along the fastener’s shanks and maintained their temperature profiles relatively low for two hours of exposure. Based on the heat-affected area, the study presents new design principles to determine the residual length of penetration that would provide adequate load-capacity of the fastener under fire conditions. It also allows determining safe fire-resistance values for unprotected fasteners in mass timber construction exposed up to two hours of standard fire exposure.
Concealed spaces, such as those created by a dropped ceiling in a floor/ceiling assembly or by a stud wall assembly, have unique requirements in the International Building Code (IBC) to address the potential of fire spread in nonvisible areas of a building. Section 718 of the 2018 IBC includes prescriptive requirements for protection and/or compartmentalization of concealed spaces through the use of draft stopping, fire blocking, sprinklers and other means.
The 2021 International Building Code (IBC) introduced three new construction types—Type IV-A, IV-B and IV-C—which allow tall mass timber buildings. For details on the new types and their requirements, see the WoodWorks paper, Tall Wood Buildings in the 2021 IBC – Up to 18 Stories of Mass Timber. This paper builds on that document with an in-depth look at the requirements for shaft walls, including when and where wood can be used.
The acceptable solutions in Division B of the anticipated 2020 NBCC limit the height of Groups C and D buildings of sprinklered encapsulated mass timber construction (EMTC) to 12 storeys in building height, and a measured building height of 42m. The recently published 2021 IBC contains provisions to permit buildings of mass timber construction under the IBC Type IV construction, surpassing the NBCC provisions by maximum building height, building area, occupancy groups, and interior exposed timber. The IBC mass timber buildings are permitted to have a building height of maximum 18 storeys, depending on the occupancy group. Within Type IV construction, four subdivisions are described to have varying maximum permissible building height, area, fire resistance rating (FRR), and interior exposed timber.
Through a comparison of mass timber provisions of both Codes, relevant research reports, test reports, industry standards, this report documents the consequential and inconsequential differences and developed conclusions on whether the NBCC can adopt the IBC provisions, and with what modifications so that the new provisions may fit the NBCC context.
An advanced modelling tool, WoodST, has been developed for fire safety analysis of timber structures. It is demonstrated that this advanced modelling tool can predict the structural response of LVL beams, glulam bolted connections, OSB-web I-joist and wood-frame floors under forces and fire conditions with an accuracy acceptable to design practitioners (i.e., within 10% of test data). The developed modelling tool can:
Fill the gap in terms of suitable models for timber connections, which is an impediment for the design and construction of tall wood buildings;
Provide a cost-effective simulation solution compared to costly experimental solutions; and
Significantly reduce the cost and shorten the time for the development and/or optimization of new wood-based products and connections.
Shear connectors ensure effective interaction between wood beams and concrete slabs of composite beams, and their properties noticeably affect the fire resistance of timber-concrete composite beams. To investigate the shear stiffness of notched connectors in glued laminated timber (GLT)-concrete composite beams under fire conditions, 16 shear tests were conducted. The effects of fire duration and notch length on shear properties of the connectors for a given spacing were studied. The fire tests indicated that the reduction of the notch length from 200 mm to 150 mm remarkably affected the failure mode of the shear specimens, changing from compression failure of notched wood to shear failure of notched concrete. The increase in fire duration reduced effective width of the notched wood, negatively affected the shear stiffness and shear capacity of the connectors, and the shear stiffness decreased more rapidly. The notch length did not have a substantial effect on the shear stiffness of connectors. Based on the experimental results, an analytical model to estimate the shear stiffness of notched connectors in GLT-concrete beam under fire conditions was established.
This paper is intended for developers and owners seeking to purchase insurance for mass timber buildings, for design/construction teams looking to make their designs and installation processes more insurable, and for insurance industry professionals looking to alleviate their concerns about safety and performance.
For developers, owners and design/construction teams, it provides an overview of the insurance industry, including its history, what affects premiums, how risks are analyzed, and how project teams can navigate coverage for mass timber buildings. Insurance in general can seem like a mystery—what determines premium fluctuations, impacts of a strong vs. weak economy, and the varying roles of brokers, agents and underwriters. This paper will explain all of those aspects, focusing on the unique considerations of mass timber projects and steps that can be taken to make these buildings more insurable.
For insurance brokers, underwriters and others in the industry, this paper provides an introduction to mass timber, including its growing use, code recognition and common project typologies. It also covers available information on fire performance and post-fire remediation, moisture impacts on building longevity, and items to watch for when reviewing specific projects.
The development of this primer commenced shortly after the 2018 launch of the Mass Timber Institute (MTI) centered at the University of Toronto. Funding for this publication was generously provided by the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. Although numerous jurisdictions have established design guides for tall mass timber buildings, architects and engineers often do not have access to the specialized building science knowledge required to deliver well performing mass timber buildings. MTI worked collaboratively with industry, design professionals, academia, researchers and code experts to develop the scope and content of this mass timber building science primer. Although provincially funded, the broader Canadian context underlying this publication was viewed as the most appropriate means of advancing Ontario’s nascent mass timber building industry. This publication also extends beyond Canada and is based on universally applicable principles of building science and how these principles may be used anywhere in all aspects of mass timber building technology. Specifically, these guidelines were developed to guide stakeholders in selecting and implementing appropriate building science practices and protocols to ensure the acceptable life cycle performance of mass timber buildings. It is essential that each representative stakeholder, developer/owner, architect/engineer, supplier, constructor, wood erector, building official, insurer, and facility manager, understand these principles and how to apply them during the design, procurement, construction and in-service phases before embarking on a mass timber building project.
When mass timber building technology has enjoyed the same degree of penetration as steel and concrete, this primer will be long outdated and its constituent concepts will have been baked into the training and education of design professionals and all those who fabricate, construct, maintain and manage mass timber buildings.
One of the most important reasons this publication was developed was to identify gaps in building science knowledge related to mass timber buildings and hopefully to address these gaps with appropriate research, development and demonstration programs. The mass timber building industry in Canada is still a collection of seedlings that continue to grow and as such they deserve the stewardship of the best available building science knowledge to sustain them until such time as they become a forest that can fend for itself.
This manual is helpful for experts and novices alike. Whether you’re new to mass timber or an early adopter you’ll benefit from its comprehensive summary of the most up to date resources on topics from mass timber products and applications to tall wood construction and sustainability.
The manual’s content includes WoodWorks technical papers, Think Wood continuing education articles, case studies, expert Q&As, technical guides and other helpful tools. Click through to view each individual resource or download the master resource folder for all files in one handy location. For your convenience, this book will be updated annually as mass timber product development and the market are quickly evolving.
This report contains test results for the fire-retardant-treatment (FRT) and hygrothermal effects on structural glued laminated timber (glulam). This is the second part of the collaborative research project between ABA - The Engineered Wood Association, Tacoma, WA, and USDA Forest Products Laboratory (FPL), Madison, WI. The first part of this project is related to FRT laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and the results are provided in a separate research report.
Selected mechanical properties, including tension, bending, and shear of the FRT glulam treated with the American Wood Protection ASsociation (AWPA) P49 and P50 fire retardants were evaluated in this study. These results are used to support the development of an ASTM standard for FRT glulam.
This paper presents an experimental evaluation of the fire resistance of glued-in rod timber joints using epoxy resin, with and without modification. A heat-resistant modified resin was designed by adding inorganic additives into the epoxy resin, aiming to improve the heat resistance. Joints that were made using the modified epoxy resin at room temperature showed a bearing capacity comparable to those with commercial epoxy resin. Twenty-one joint specimens with the modified epoxy resin and six with a commercial epoxy resin were tested in a fire furnace to evaluate the fire resistance. The main failure mode was the pull-out of the rod, which is typical in fire tests of this type of joints. As to the effects of the test parameters, this study considered the effects of adhesive types, sectional sizes, stress levels, and fireproof coatings. The test results showed that the fire resistance period of a joint can be evidently improved by modifying the resin and using the fireproof coating, as the improvements reached 73% and 35%, respectively, compared with the joint specimens with commercial epoxy resin. It was also found that, for all specimens, the fire resistance period decreased with an increase in the stress level and increased with an increase in the sectional sizes.
The benefits of using wood in tall and commercial construction are undisputed, namely reducing the carbon footprint, shortening construction times, and enhancing seismic and building physics performance. The international market for wood as a structural material in tall and non-residential construction, however, is still relatively untapped. China is home to the world’s largest population and the largest construction sector worldwide, yet wood products are only used in a small fraction of buildings. The main reasons for this situation are the fire regulations and lack of guidelines for novel wood-based structural systems. This paper describes the design of a 10-storey timber-concrete business hotel which will be erected in the Guizhou province of China. The foundation design, gravity system design, lateral load resisting system design, seismic analysis and the fire resistance design were conducted, and the procedure provided appropriate information to the technological feasibility to promote the development of timber-based hybrid high-rise construction systems in China.
While taller mass timber buildings continue to capture worldwide attention, the University of Idaho chose to pursue a different type of innovation with the Idaho Central Credit Union Arena by showcasing wood’s impressive long-span capabilities. Inspired by the rolling hills of the nearby Palouse, the undulating wood roof of this sports and events facility soars over the open space below, creating a visually stunning structure not typically associated with large arenas.
This project is also unique in that it was built through a collaboration of Idaho stakeholders, using wood harvested from the University of Idaho’s Experimental Forest, made into glue-laminated timber (glulam) beams by Idaho manufacturers. “The complex structure makes a strong statement, not only for what mass timber can do, but also for what Idaho’s timber industry can do,” said Lucas Epp, Vice President and Head of Engineering for StructureCraft.