Braced timber frames (BTFs) are one of the most efficient structural systems to resist lateral loads induced by earthquakes or high winds. Although BTFs are implemented as a system in the National Building Code of Canada (NBCC), no design guidelines currently exist in CSA O86. That not only leaves these efficient systems out of reach of designers, but also puts them in danger of being eliminated from NBCC. The main objective of this project is to generate the technical information needed for development of design guidelines for BTFs as a lateral load resisting system in CSA O86. The seismic performance of 30 BTFs with riveted connections was studied last year by conducting nonlinear dynamic analysis; and also 15 glulam brace specimens using bolted connections were tested under cyclic loading.
In the second year of the project, a relationship between the connection and system ductility of BTFs was derived based on engineering principles. The proposed relationship was verified against the nonlinear pushover analysis results of single- and multi-storey BTFs with various building heights. The influence of the connection ductility, the stiffness ratio, and the number of tiers and storeys on the system ductility of BTFs was investigated using the verified relationship. The minimum connection ductility for different categories (moderately ductile and limited ductility) of BTFs was estimated.
The present study proposes a new connection system for Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) structures in earthquake prone areas. The system is suitable for creating wall-floor-wall and wall-foundation connections, where each connection device can transfer both shear and tension forces, thus replacing the role of traditional “hold downs” and “angle brackets”, and eliminating possible uncertainty on the load paths and on the force-transfer mechanism. For design earthquakes intensity, the proposed system is designed to remain elastic without accessing the inelastic resources, avoiding in this way permanent deformations in both structural and non-structural elements. However, in case of unforeseen events of exceptional intensity, the system exhibits a pseudo-ductile behaviour, with significant deformation capacity. Furthermore, in the proposed system the vertical forces are directly transferred through the contact between wall panels, avoiding compressions orthogonal to the grain of the floor panels. In this research, the connection system was analysed via finite element modelling based on numerical strategies with different levels of refinements. Nonlinear analyses were performed in order to investigate the response of the connection to shear, tension and a combination of such forces. The numerical responses were compared with those of full-scale experimental tests performed on the proposed connection subjected to different kind of loading configuration. The results appear as promising, suggesting that the proposed connection system could represent a viable solution to build medium-rise seismic-resistant CLT structures, that minimise damage to structural and non-structural elements and the cost of repair.
Timber-concrete composite slabs are more and more in use: the combination of timber and concrete combines the advantages of both materials and offer a valid solution for the increasing demand for sustainable construction. The connection between timber and concrete is the crucial element, yet its potential regarding material and time expenses is not exploited. This paper presents the novel connection system micro-notches, an interlocking concept between timber and concrete with indentations in the millimetre range. Micro-notches provide a continuous shear transfer without additional steel fasteners such as screws or dowels. The paper presents the development of the micro-notch concept in an extensive experimental program supplemented with analytical and numerical models, a calculation model, and practice-relevant guidelines. The results of the investigations show that micro-notches feature an approximately rigid composite action between timber and concrete and a sufficient shear strength for the use in office and residential buildings.