A major problem in light-weight timber floors is their insufficient performance coping with impact noise in low frequencies. There are no prefabricated solutions available in Australia and New Zealand. To rectify this and enable the implementation of light-weight timber floors, a structural floor was designed and built in laminated veneer lumber (LVL). The floor was evaluated in a laboratory setting based on its behaviour and then modified with suspended ceilings and different floor toppings. Twenty-nine different floor compositions were tested. The bare floor could not reach the minimum requirement set by the Building Code of Australia (BCA) but with additional layers, a sufficient result of R'w+Ctr 53 dB and L’nT,w + CI 50 dB was reached. Doubling of the concrete mass added a marginal improvement. With concrete toppings and suspended ceiling it is possible to reach the goal in airborne and impact sound insulation. The best result was achieved by combining of additional mass and different construction layers.
There has been no research to date exploring whether timber products can provide effective thermal capacitance in residential or commercial construction. This research is exploring the use of unique mass-timber products to provide a new form of thermal performance capacitance within the built fabric of new and existing homes. The development of mass timber products is a new paradigm in material and building science research in Australia, requiring the accounting for carbon emissions, carbon sequestration, material embodied energy and material thermal properties for this renewable resource. This paper focuses on the results from preliminary building simulation studies encompassing house energy rating simulations and a comparative analysis of embodied energy and carbon storage for a series of house plans in Australia.
This study compares the life cycle environmental impacts of two multilevel residential buildings built in Melbourne, Australia. The study was commissioned by Australand and funded by Forest and Wood Products Australia (FWPA).
The first building considered, the ‘Study Building’, incorporated an innovative light weight building approach utilising a stick-built timber frame and a ‘cassette floor’ building system. The second building, the ‘Reference Building’ utilised a more typical building approach, incorporating precast concrete panels and suspended concrete slab floors (Table 1).
The primary goal of the study was to compare the potential environmental impacts of the above buildings across their respective life cycles.
The study employed the LCA methodology described by the ISO14044 standard to undertake the comparison of the buildings. The analysis addressed a building life cycle scope which was prescribed by GBCA (GBCA 2014), which in turn based the boundary definition on the EN15978 standard, as shown in Figure 1. Although EN15978 was used to define the scope of the LCA, the study is not intended to be fully compliant with the standard.
This cooperative project amongst CLT suppliers was initiated to develop base line information on the sound attenuation performance of CLT floor and wall systems. Further, to provide baseline sound attenuation information on CLT wall and flooring systems that will allow the development of:
1. Information for building professionals to meet building code requirements.
2. Information for acoustic consultants to develop assessments on variations to the baseline tested system.
In this chapter I describe a multidisciplinary research project into cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels which aims to transform the Australian construction and development industry and involves a range of key partners. This project will introduce CLT panels as a way to build with a lightweight prefabricated low-carbon construction system that is advantageous for urban infill and residential buildings. The challenge, research questions, and the advantages of this system are explained herein.
Following on from the author’s recently completed doctorial research investigating Scandinavian industrially produced engineered construction methodologies and their potential application in Australia, this paper reports on the research and development of a hybridised nail laminated 3 ply CLT and OSB wall panel with a cavity through the design and construction of a prototype commercial building for Western Australia’s largest soft wood timber processor, Wespine.
Findings resulting from the author’s doctorial research and research undertaken for New Zealand research consortium, Solid Wood Innovation, demonstrated the potential for rough sawn multi-grade Radiata pine to be used as a structural material with the capacity to be used in developments of five and six storeys when laminated via a simple gun nailing lamination process. This paper introduces new developments on this concept through the hybridisation of a two ply cross laminated panel with OSB bracing to create a rigid modular wall element suitable for a range of building types.
The aim of this work is to examine the hygrothermal performance of timber-based envelopes across Australia. The heat and moisture (HAM) analyses are performed with consideration of various climatic conditions for all major Australian cities including: Darwin (zone 1); Brisbane (zone 2); Sydney (zone 5); Melbourne (zone 6); and Canberra (zone 7). Two main typical wall sections are selected for investigation, a massive CLT wall type with an external insulation layer and a cavity-insulated timber frame wall. The transient hygrothermal behaviour and mould growth risk assessments are simulated with WUFI software. The study shows how emerging construction practices perform poorly with respect to HAM transfer, particularly in hot and humid climatic contexts during the cooling season.Critical configurations are identified and design alternatives suggested so to prevent material damage, guarantee durable wood structures and maintain indoor environment healthiness.
The present paper is the first to conceptually assess the viability of mass timber construction (MTC) as an alternative construction material/method in Australia. It fulfills an identified need to examine an innovative construction process providing much needed information concerning the technologies current position and future disruption to traditional construction methods. A common tool used in business management studies, the PESTEL model, Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal is employed to provide structure for a strategic analysis of the technology. Mass timber construction clearly demonstrates some advantages including cost savings, primarily in the reduction in on-site labour costs; a lower environmental impact and use of a renewable resource; and possibility of improved amenity and reduced running costs for owners and occupiers. The estimated market potential for MTC in Australia indicates that a local plant might be viable as the market grows, and warrants funding to underpin a full feasibility assessment.
Wood-based mass-panels (WBMP) are emerging as an attractive construction product for large-scale residential and commercial construction. Australia is following the lead of Europe and North America with several recent projects being completed using predominately cross-laminated timber panels (CLT). These sawn timber-based panels offer some key advantages to the construction and sawmilling industry. However, veneer-based mass-panel (VBMP) systems could offer additional benefits including the more efficient use of the available forest resources to produce WBMPs that have equivalent to superior performance to CLT. Research to confirm the expected technical viability of veneer-based systems is required. VBMPs could provide a valuable contribution, alongside CLT, to the Australian timber products market.
Most of the timber used in the Australian built environment is presently for low-rise residential construction. This market share is under constant erosion from competitive systems; therefore, entry into non-traditional sectors would benefit the industry through a wider market portfolio of building type applications, and a higher value product system development.
The project analysed building designs in order to estimate the size and value of the market sector in commercial and high-rise residential buildings; established the major building systems used in these sectors, and why these systems are popular (major attractiveness of current systems) and scoped two current timber systems (Cassette Flooring and Access floors) that have the opportunity to increase timber volumes in these markets.