The growing diffusion of cross-laminated timber structures (CLT) has been accompanied by extensive research on the peculiar characteristics of this construction system, mainly concerning its economic and environmental benefits, lifecycle, structural design, resistance to seismic actions, fire protection, and energy efficiency. Nevertheless, some aspects have not yet been fully analysed. These include both the knowledge of noise protection that CLT systems are able to offer in relation to the possible applications and combinations of building elements, and the definition of calculation methods necessary to support the acoustic design. This review focuses on the main acoustic features of CLT systems and investigate on the results of the most relevant research aimed to provide key information on the application of acoustic modelling in CLT buildings. The vibro-acoustic behaviour of the basic component of this system and their interaction through the joints has been addressed, as well as the possible ways to manage acoustic information for calculation accuracy improvement by calibration with data from on-site measurements during the construction phase. This study further suggests the opportunity to improve measurement standards with specific reference curves for the bare CLT building elements, in order to compare different acoustic linings and assemblies on the same base. In addition, this study allows to identify some topics in the literature that are not yet fully clarified, providing some insights on possible future developments in research and for the optimization of these products.
Advanced industrialized construction methods enable complex building components and systems to be built with high precision and quality. This manufacturing technique has an advantage to provide cost-competitive and high energy efficient building components and systems for both retrofits and new construction. This document gives an overview of the use of prefabricated panels in building Net Zero Energy Ready wood-frame multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) in Edmonton.
Tall building (higher than 8 stories) construction using Cross laminated timber (CLT) is a relatively new trend for urban developments around the world. In the U.S., there is great interest in utilizing the potential of this new construction material. By analyzing a ten-story condominium building model constructed using building energy simulation program EnergyPlus, the energy efficiency of this emerging building type was evaluated and compared with a light metal frame building system (currently viable construction type for this height based on the U.S. building code). A sensitivity analysis was also conducted to study the impact of different weather and internal load conditions on building energy performances. It was concluded that efficiency of CLT envelope is high for heating energy savings, but its energy performance efficiency can be greatly affected by other factors including weather, internal loading, and HVAC control.
Our built environment is constantly adapting to changing factors: technology, the state of the economy, material resource availability, and, in turn, environmental conditions. The latter has gained notable importance in popular discourse, and especially in the architecture and construction professions. However, as much as we see terms such as “sustainability” and “green” in our everyday lives, government and industry are slow to take action investing in our future environment. Material resources in the building industry are worth investigating. Timber, used as a structural material to compete with concrete and steel, brings more energy efficient and natural renewable resources to our growing cities. In order to provide a broader perspective of how we as a society use concrete, steel, and timber, I will compare the three building materials in a four part guideline: Environmental Performance, Ease of Manufacture, Organized Assembly, and Design Flexibility.
The Canterbury earthquakes in 2010 and 2011 caused significant damage to the Christchurch building stock. However, it is an opportunity to build more comfortable and energy efficient buildings. Previous research suggests a tendency to both under heat and spot heat, meaning that New Zealand dwellings are partly heated and winter indoor temperatures do not always meet the recommendations of the World Health Organization. Those issues are likely to be explained by design deficiency, poor thermal envelope, and limitations of heating systems.
In that context, the thesis investigates the feasibility of building an energy efficient and cost-competitive house in Christchurch. Although capital costs for an energy efficient house are inevitably higher, they are balanced with lower operating costs and improved thermal comfort. The work is supported by a residential building project using Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels. This atypical project is compared with a typical New Zealand house (reference building), regarding both energy efficiency and costs.
The current design of the CLT building is discussed according to passive design strategies, and a range of improvements for the building design is proposed. This final design proposal is determined by prioritizing investments in design options having the greatest effect on the building overall energy consumption. Building design features include windows efficiencies, insulation levels, optimized thermal mass, lighting fixture, as well as HVAC and domestic hot water systems options. The improved case for the CLT building is simulated having a total energy consumption of 4,860kWh/year, which corresponds to a remarkable 60% energy savings over the baseline.
The construction cost per floor area is slightly higher for the CLT building, about 2,900$/m² against
2,500$/m² for the timber framed house. But a life cycle cost analysis shows that decreased operating costs makes the CLT house cost-competitive over its lifetime. The thesis suggests that the life cycle cost of the CLT house is 14% less than that of the reference building, while the improved CLT design reaches about 22% costs savings.
This paper presents energy and environmental performance analyses, a study of summer indoor temperatures and occupant behavior for an eight story apartment building, with the goal to combine high energy efficiency with low environmental impact, at a reasonable cost. Southern Portvakten building is built with prefabricated timber elements using passive house principles in the North European climate. Energy performance was analyzed through parametric studies, as well as monitored energy data, and complemented with analysis of occupant behavior during one year. Results show that airtight, low-energy apartment buildings can be successfully built with prefabricated timber elements in a cold climate. The monitored total energy use was 47.6 kWh/m2, excluding household electricity (revised to a normal year), which is considerably lower than of a standard building built today in Sweden—90 kWh/m2. However, the occupancy level was low during the analyzed year, which affects the energy use compared to if the building had been fully occupied. Environmental analysis shows that the future challenges lie in lowering the household and common electricity use, as well as in improving the choices of materials. More focus should also lie on improving occupant behavior and finding smart solar shading solutions for apartment buildings.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a new panelized mass timber product that is suitable for building tall wood buildings (higher than eight stories) because of its structural robustness and superior fire resistance as compared with traditional light-framed wood systems. A number of tall CLT buildings have been constructed around the world in the past decade, and taller projects are being planned. The energy efficiency of this emerging building type was evaluated numerically in this comparative study with the use of a building energy simulation program. A 10-story multiunit residential building model constructed using CLT was simulated and compared with a light-frame metal construction model with the same floor plan. A sensitivity analysis was also conducted to study the impact of different weather profiles, building types, and internal load conditions on building energy consumption performance. It was concluded that CLT generally provides significant improvement on heating energy efficiency as a heavy and air-tight envelope, but its energy performance efficiency can be affected by weather, building size, internal loading, and HVAC control.
Ventilated façades can help to reduce summer building thermal loads and, therefore, energy consumption due to air-conditioning systems thanks to the combined effect of the solar radiation reflection and the natural or forced ventilation into the cavity. The evaluation of ventilated façades behavior and performance is complex and requires a complete thermo-fluid dynamic analysis. In this study, a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) methodology has been developed for the complete assessment of the energy performance of a prefabricated timber–concrete composite ventilated façade module in different operating conditions. Global numerical results are presented as well as local ones in terms of heat flux, air velocity, and temperature inside the façade cavity. The results show the dependency of envelope efficiency on solar radiation, the benefits that natural convection brings on potential energy savings and the importance of designing an optimized façade geometry. The results concerning the façade behavior have been thoroughly compared with International Standards, showing the good accuracy of the model with respect to these well-known procedures. This comparison allowed also to highlight the International Standards procedures limits in evaluating the ventilated façade behavior with the necessary level of detail, with the risk of leading to design faults.
Project contact is Pierre Blanchet at Université Laval
The work of Lessard et al. (2017) demonstrated that the building envelope was an important system in the building in terms of environmental impact, but only took into account the external components of the building envelope. This project will perform a life cycle analysis of the main building envelopes for a typical building under commercial construction. By relying on our design partners, the main systems and associated materials will be analyzed in a cradle-to-grave approach. It is desirable to identify hot spots and to indicate avenues for product development in order to reduce the envelope's environmental footprint. Among the scenarios to be considered: light framework, CLT, curtain walls and all their possible variants, but also commonly used non-biobased systems. The comparison between the systems studied will be based on an equivalent energy efficiency performance.
This report provides an overview of major changes occurred in the recent decade to design and construction of the building envelope of wood and wood-hybrid construction. It also covers some new or unique considerations required to improve building envelope performance, due to evolutions of structural systems, architectural design, energy efficiency requirements, or use of new materials. It primarily aims to help practicioners better understand wood-based building envelope systems to improve design and construction practices. The information provided should also be useful to the wood industry to better understand the demands for wood products in the market place. Gaps in research are identified and summarized at the end of this report.