Project contact is Erol Karacabeyli at FPInnovations
To support NRCan's Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative, FPInnovations developed and published the 2014 Edition of Technical Guide for the Design and Construction of Tall Wood Buildings in Canada. More than 80 technical professionals comprised of design consultants and experts from FPInnovations, the National Research Council, the Canadian Wood Council and universities were involved in its development. The Guide has gained national and worldwide reputation as one of the most complete and credible documents helping to introduce to the design and construction community, and Authorities Having Jurisdiction the terms "Mass Timber Construction" and "Hybrid Tall Wood Buildings".
Since the publication of the First Edition, a number of tall wood buildings have been designed and constructed. Substantial regulatory changes are expected to happen based on the experience obtained from the demonstration initiative and the extensive research that has taken place domestically and internationally since the publication of the First Edition. These developments highlight a need for the Guide to be updated so that it aligns with efforts currently underway nationally and provincially and continues to lead in providing the design and construction community technical insight into new opportunities for building in wood.
The First Edition of the Guide helped to focus the efforts of the early adopters who participated in NRCan's Tall Wood Building Demonstration Initiative. Updating and aligning the Guide with the release of the new National Building Code of Canada and the Canadian wood design standard (CSA O86), and sharing the experiences gained from tall wood buildings built since the First Edition, will not only continue to expand the base of early adopters, but also help to move aspects of mass timber and hybrid wood buildings into the mainstream.
Vertical gypsum fire separation walls that have fire-resistive ratings evaluated in accordance with a recognized standard are permitted for use in building construction. When approved doors are inserted in such walls, the details must be presented for consideration as an “alternative solution”.
This guide is based on observations of two CAN/ULC S101 (ULC, 2007) tests on gypsum fire separation walls with S104 (ULC, 2010) approved closure penetrations. The guidance is intended to direct the designer’s attention to potential issues that might impact the performance of a closure penetration in a gypsum separation wall that use a thick wood-based sheathing (i.e. combustible) for carrying the weight of the fire door assembly. General guidance is provided on sizing the sheathing and the need for protecting the sheathing from fire, yet permitting the assembly to accommodate building movements in-service.
The purpose of this guide is to recommend considerations when designing the interface between a fire door (closure penetration) in proprietary gypsum separation walls. These considerations form only part of the alternative solution that will need to be presented to the AHJ for approval.
Although details are provided in Appendix VI to illustrate a possible solution, it is the responsibility of the designer to understand how the design is expected to perform. The guide discusses three scenarios to assist the designer in formulating an appropriate solution. These are performance under an extreme fire; performance under a limited fire; and performance under normal (non-fire) service conditions that may include high wind or high seismic event.
The current interest and growth of cross laminated timber (CLT) products has spurred interest in the manufacture of CLTs in the United States. The purpose of this paper is to explore the development of CLT materials from southern pine lumber commonly available in Virginia. A 5-layer CLT panel has been constructed using No. 2 southern pine lumber. Evaluation of mechanical properties, fire performance and acoustical performance were conducted. Results of these evaluations can guide the development and acceptance of CLT products in the International Building Code.
Thirteen Southern pine cross-laminated timber panels were tested in the intermediate scale horizontal furnace at the Forest Products Laboratory to determine the effects different adhesives and ply configuration had on fire performance. Four different adhesives were tested: melamine formaldehyde (MF), phenol resorcinol formaldehyde (PRF), polyurethane reactive (PUR), and emulsion polymer isocyanate (EPI). There were two ply configurations: Long-Cross-Long (LCL) or Long-Long-Cross (LLC) where “long” indicates the wood was parallel to the longer edge of the panel. The MF and the PRF prevented delamination and associated problems while the LLC configuration resulted in uneven charring patterns.
This project evaluates the National Building Codes of Canada (NBCC) clauses relevant to fire performance and performance requirements of non-load-bearing wood-frame in-fill walls in concrete/steel hybrid buildings. Related clauses in NBCC are reviewed regarding the use of wood components and non-load bearing wall systems in non-combustible buildings. The highlights of this review are:
§ An exterior non-loadbearing wall assembly with combustible components is allowed in non-combustible construction if:
a) Building height is not more than 3 storeys or has a sprinkler system throughout ;
b) The interior surfaces of the wall assembly are protected by a thermal barrier ; and
c) The wall assembly satisfied the testing criteria for CAN/ULC S134 ;
§ Combustible interior wall finishes, other than foamed plastics, are allowed in non-combustible construction if the thickness is not greater than 25 mm and their flame spread rating (FSR) is not more than 150 ;
§ Combustible insulation, other than foamed plastics, is allowed in non-combustible construction if the flame-spread rating not more than 25 ;
§ Combustible insulation with a FSR not less than 25 and not more than 500 is allowed in exterior and interior walls of non-combustible construction if the building is non-sprinklered and not more than 18 m or sprinklered and protected by a thermal barrier ;
§ There are no obstacles for using wood-frame in-fill wall systems for interior partition walls in hybrid buildings:
a) For non-sprinklered buildings not greater than 3 storeys or a floor area not greater than 600 m2 ;
b) For sprinklered buildings.
§ Non-combustible construction allows combustible elements in partition walls in the following instances:
a) Solid lumber partitions located in a fire compartment area are permitted in a non-sprinklered floor area not greater than 600 m2 with restrictions ;
b) Solid lumber partitions not less than 38 mm thick and partitions that contain wood framing are permitted with restrictions.
§ Combustible cladding can be used under the following circumstances:
a) When a wall assembly with exposing building face is between 10 to 25% tested by CAN/ULC-S134 and complies with Article 220.127.116.11 ;
b) When a wall assembly with exposing building face is between 25 to 50%, is sprinklered throughout, installed on a gypsum board sheathing, and has a FSR not more than 25 (with restrictions) ;
c) When a wall assembly with exposing building face is between 50 to 100%, cladding can be combustible for group A, B, C, D, E, F.
§ When a building is required to be of non-combustible construction, combustible elements are limited to the requirements in Subsection 3.1.5 on non-combustible construction ;
§ When comparing the NBCC with the International Building Code (IBC), the IBC is more in favour of using FRT wood frame in-fill walls with one more storey.