The anticipated growth and urbanization of the global population over the next several decades will create a vast demand for the construction of new housing, commercial buildings and accompanying infrastructure. The production of cement, steel and other building materials associated with this wave of construction will become a major source of greenhouse gas emissions. Might it be possible to transform this potential threat to the global climate system into a powerful means to mitigate climate change? To answer this provocative question, we explore the potential of mid-rise urban buildings designed with engineered timber to provide long-term storage of carbon and to avoid the carbon-intensive production of mineral-based construction materials.
Project contact is Paulo Tabares at the Colorado School of Mines
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is a mass timber material that has the potential to expand the wood building market in the U.S. However, new sustainable building technologies need extensive field and numerical validation quantifying environmental and economic benefits of using CLT as a sustainable building material so it can be broadly adopted in the building community. These benefits will also be projected nationwide across the United States once state-of-the-art software is validated and will include showcasing and documenting synergies between multiple technologies in the building envelope and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. However, there are no such studies for CLT. The objective of this project is to quantify and showcase environmental and economic benefits of CLT as a sustainable building material in actual (and simulated) commercial buildings across the entire United States by doing: (1) on-site monitoring of at least four CLT buildings, (2) whole building energy model validation, (3) optimization of the performance and design for CLT buildings and (4) comparison with traditional building envelopes. This knowledge gap needs to be filled to position CLT on competitive grounds with steel and concrete and is the motivation for this study.
This building is a typical one-storey commercial building located in Vancouver, BC. The plan dimensions are 30.5 m x 12.2 m (100’ x 40’), with a building height of 5 m. The walls are wood-based shear walls, with a wood diaphragm roof and a steel moment frame at the storefront. The roof plan is shown in Figure 1. The site is Seismic Class ‘C’. Wind, snow and seismic figures specific to the project location are taken from the current version of the British Columbia Building Code (2012). Roof dead load is assumed to be 1.0 kPa and the wall weight is 0.5 kPa. The weight of non-structural items including mechanical equipment and the storefront façade has not been included in this example for simplicity.
New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Conference
April 10-12, 2015, Rotorua, New Zealand
This paper discusses the design of timber diaphragms, in response to the growing interest in multi-storey commercial timber structures, and the lack of guidance or regulations regarding the seismic design of timber diaphragms.
Proper performance of floor diaphragms is required to transfer all lateral loads to the vertical systems that resist them, but design for earthquake loads can be more complex than design for wind loads. This paper confirms that the seismic design of a diaphragm is intimately linked to the seismic design of the whole building. Diaphragm failure, even if restricted to a limited diaphragm portion, can compromise the behaviour of the whole building. It is therefore necessary to design and detail diaphragms for all possible load paths and to evaluate their influence on the load distribution within the rest of the structure. It is strongly recommended that timber diaphragms be designed as elastic elements, by applying dynamic amplification and overstrength factors derived from the lateral load resisting system.
This paper shows that some current design recommendations for plywood sheathing on light timber framing can be applied to massive wood diaphragms, but for more complex floor geometries an equivalent truss method is suggested. Diaphragm flexibility and displacement incompatibilities between the floor diaphragms and the lateral resisting systems also need to be accounted for.
Project contact is Weichiang Pang at Clemson University
The overall goal of this project is to enable the use of cross laminated timber (CLT) to construct commercial and other non-residential buildings in High Velocity Hurricane Zone (HVHZ). The 1992 Hurricane Andrew exposed the shortcomings of existing building codes. Recognizing this shortcomings, the Florida Building Code (FBC) incorporated new enhanced provisions which specifically require that the entire building envelope, including the wall and roof systems, must be impact resistant in HVHZ. Currently, CLT is not in the database of a list of building envelope products that comply with the HVHZ standard. The specific objectives of this project are (1) to qualify PRG-320 compliance CLT panels for HVHZ standard by conducting FBC debris impact and wind pressure cyclic tests; (2) to conduct education and outreach sessions to promote the use of CLT in HVHZ, and (3) to identify possible construction projects that may utilize CLT as the building envelope and promote the use of CLT in those projects. The test results generated in this project will be used specifically to gain HVHZ building code approval.
This project identifies drivers for, and barriers to, the increased use of prefabricated timber building (PTB) systems in Class 2 to 9 commercial buildings, such as apartments, hotels, office buildings and schools.
PTB systems in Australia are in a formative stage and yet to achieve broad acceptance in the marketplace as a conventional method of building.
Opportunities for PTB systems can use timber’s well-established benefits such as high strength-to-weight ratio; design and construction flexibility; general environmental credentials including carbon sequestration; and prefabrication’s suitability for use on brown-field, restricted access and difficult sites and developments. In addition legislative constraints have now been largely removed (e.g. through changes to the 2016 National Construction Code).
An increase in large scale mid-rise prefabricated buildings, and with the increasing nationalisation and internationalisation of the top tier building companies, suggests market acceptance will grow as PTB buildings are seen as ‘normal’.
The study investigates the environmental benefits of reusing Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels. The Global Warming Potential (GWP) of a single-stored Coffee shop built in 2016 in Kobe city was calculated, considering different CLT reuse ratios, forest land-use and material substitution possibilities. The results showed that as the rate of reused CLT panel increases the total GWP decreases. Moreover, in all cases, the option with smallest GWP is when the surplus wood is used for carbon storage in the forest, revealing the importance of a growing forest for increasing the environmental benefits of timber utilisation. The results suggest the systematic reuse of CLT panels offers a possibility to increase the carbon stock of Japanese Cedar plantation forests and further mitigate the environmental impact of construction.
The report has segmented the European CLT market on the basis of application. Some of the key application areas of CLT include educational institutes, residential, commercial spaces, and government and public buildings. On a regional basis, the report has segmented the market into Austria, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Spain, Norway, Sweden, United Kingdom and Others. Amongst these, Austria represents the largest producer accounting for the majority of the total production. Apart from the application sector and region, the European CLT market has also been segment on the basis of product type, element type, raw material type, bonding method, panel layers, adhesive type, press type, storey class and application type. The report provides historical as well as forecast trends for each of the above market segmentations. The report has also analysed the competitive landscape of the market with some of the key players being Binderholz, Stora Enso, KLH Massivholz, Mayr Melnhof and Hasslacher. ...
Cross-laminated timbers (CLTs) are strong and lightweight structural building materials. CLTs are made from renewable wood resources and have significant economic potential as a new value-added product for the United States. However, market penetration has been obstructed by product affordability and lack of availability for use. Previous studies and projects have surveyed opinions of designers and contractors about the adoption of CLTs. No previous study was found that surveyed cost estimators, who serve the essential function of creating economic comparisons of alternative materials in commercial construction. CLTs are not included in these current cost estimation tools and software packages which may be limiting the potential use of CLT in construction.
The purpose of this study was to discover if cost estimation is being used to make structural decisions potentially affecting the marketability of CLT use in construction and building design because of the ability to estimate CLTs adequately. Through the use of a survey, the re-designing of a building, and discussions with subject matter experts, this study examined the knowledge level of cross-laminated timbers of under-surveyed building construction professions and the relationship between cost estimation and structural material choices. Their responses are demonstrating the need for better cost estimation tools for cross-laminated timbers such as inclusion in the Construction Specifications Institute's classification systems in order for CLTs to become a more competitive product. The study concluded that cost estimation is important for CLT market development, because it is being used extensively in the construction industry.
This project has developed technologies for prefabricated structural systems constructed from engineered wood products for floors and building frames, suitable for buildings up to eight stories in height. The project included the design of a virtual multi-storey timber building, a review of commercial flooring systems, and the development of interim design procedures for timber concrete composite (TCC) floors. Compared with either solid concrete or timber floors, TCC floors provide an excellent balance between increased stiffness, reduced weight, better acoustic separation and good thermal mass.
Outcomes from the project have confirmed TCC floors as a viable alternative to conventional flooring systems. The life cycle analysis of the virtual timber building has highlighted the potential advantages of timber-based building systems for commercial applications. The project also resulted in the formation of the Structural Timber Innovation Company, a research company that will continue to develop timber building systems in non-residential buildings in Australia and New Zealand.