Changes to the 2021 International Building Code (IBC) have created opportunities for wood buildings that are much larger and taller than prescriptively allowed in past versions of the code. Occupant safety, and the need to ensure fire performance in particular, was a fundamental consideration as the changes were developed and approved. The result is three new construction types—Type IV-A, IV-B and IV-C—which are based on the previous Heavy Timber construction type (renamed Type IV-HT), but with additional fire protection requirements.
One of the main ways to demonstrate that a building will meet the required level of passive fire protection, regardless of structural materials, is through hourly fire-resistance ratings (FRRs) of its elements and assemblies. The IBC defines an FRR as the period of time a building element, component or assembly maintains the ability to confine a fire, continues to perform a given structural function, or both, as determined by the tests, or the methods based on tests, prescribed in Section 703.
FRRs for the new construction types are similar to those required for Type I construction, which is primarily steel and concrete. They are found in IBC Table 601, which includes FRR requirements for all construction types and building elements; however, other code sections should be checked for overriding provisions (e.g., occupancy separation, shaft enclosures, etc.) that may alter the requirement.
As part of its research work on wood buildings, FPInnovations has recently launched a Design Guide for Timber-Concrete Composite Floors in Canada. This technique, far from being new, could prove to be a cost-competitive solution for floors with longer-span since the mechanical properties of the two materials act in complementarity. Timber-concrete systems consist of two distinct layers, a timber layer and a concrete layer (on top), joined together by shear connectors. The properties of both materials are then better exploited since tension forces from bending are mainly resisted by the timber, while compression forces from bending are resisted by the concrete. This guide, which contains numerous illustrations and formulas to help users better plan their projects, addresses many aspects of the design of timber-concrete composite floors, for example shear connection systems, ultimate limit state design, vibration and fire resistance of floors, and much more.
The fire resistance of a structural building member includes its ability to survive a specified fire without loss of its loadbearing function. For glue laminated timber columns, fire resistance is determined by either subjecting a structural member to a standard fire test or by using one of two accepted calculation methods. For wood structural members, the calculation methods rely on char rates obtained from numerous standard fire tests. The existing calculation methods are limited under United States building codes to calculating fire resistance ratings of 120 minutes or less. However, over the past decade there has been a push towards tall wood buildings and designers desire more exposed wood to be permitted in buildings. This desire, coupled with the recent adoption of code language that permits tall wood buildings up to 18 stories, has resulted in the need to determine char rates for glue laminated timber to use in the fire resistance calculations up to 180 minutes. Here we present the experimental method and initial char rate results of glue laminated columns exposed to the standard fire.
The fire-resistance rating of a building element in an assembly has traditionally been assessed by subjecting a replicate of that assembly to the standard fire-resistance test ULC S101 in Canada, ASTM E119 in the USA and ISO 834 in most other countries. This paper presents two (2) calculation procedures for determining the fire-resistance of massive timber members in an attempt to develop a suitable calculation method that would provide accurate fire-resistance predictions when compared to test data and potentially be an alternative design method to conducting fire-resistance tests in compliance with ULC S101 and to the current Appendix D-2.11 of the National Building Code of Canada. Comparisons between the proposed methodologies and the experimental data for beams, columns and tension members show generally good agreement. Predicted failure times have been compared to experimental data that are publicly available.
Project contact is Rokib Hassan at the National Research Council of Canada
Phase two of a four-phased research project, with the overarching goal of developing transparent intumescent coating (TIC) for mass timber construction, which would be technology certified, IP protected and licensed out. The use of TIC would ensure that fire resistance rating requirements are met while reducing the need for encapsulation, resulting in increased overall aesthetics provided by timber. Phase two focuses on demonstrating a proof-of-concept on a small scale and optimizing the TIC formula and coating thickness based on the testing results. Small scale tests will be conducted to measure fire resistance, weatherability and fire toxicity.
The fire resistance of cross-laminated timber (CLT) could be improved by treating the lamina with fire retardants. The major issues with this technology are the reduced bondability of the treated lamina with commercial adhesives. This study assessed several surface preparation methods that could improve the bondability and bond durability of fire-retardant treated wood with two commercial adhesives. Four surface preparation methods, including moisture/heat/pressure, surface planing, surface chemical treatment, and surface plasma treatment were assessed for their impact on the bondability and bond durability of lodgepole pine lamina. The block shear test results indicated that all surface preparation methods were somewhat effective in improving bond performance of fire-retardant treated wood compared to the untreated control wood samples, depending on the types of fire retardants and wood adhesives applied in the treatment process and bonding process. The selection of surface preparation, fire retardant, and wood adhesive should be considered interactively to obtain the best bond properties and fire performance. It may be possible to effectively bond the treated lamina with PUR adhesive without any additional surface preparation for the fire retardant used in the treatment at FPInnovations.
Project contact is Luca Sorelli at Université Laval (Canada)
Hybrid wood-concrete structures are emerging in the multi-storey wood building market, as they provide effective solutions in terms of lightness, rigidity, vibration and fire resistance (Yeoh et al., 2010, Dagenais et al., 2016). This project aims to reduce the cost of these hybrid floors by reducing the time of construction by prefabrication technology with emphasis on use. In addition, the goal is to explore the use of Ultra High Performance Fiber Composite Concrete (UHPC) to reduce the thickness of the wood slab, and also the use of ductile connections to increase the reliability of the floor (Habel and Gauvreau). 2008, Zhang and Gauvreau 2014, Auclair-Cuerrier et al 2016a). Finally, the concrete slab improves the diaphragm behavior of the floor to seismic actions.
IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science
In Japan med- and high-rise timber buildings have started to spread in urban areas, based on the building regulations that differ from those in Europe, the cost of timber materials, and the culture for use of timber. It is considered that the use of timber materials in med- and high-rise buildings in urban areas is essential for the environmental and economic sustainability of Japan, which is a major forest country, so we are promoting the development of technologies for use of timber materials in buildings. There are 15 projects in which the fire resistant glulam materials and CLT that satisfy Japan's fireproof standards have been applied, including those currently being designed.
This guide provides the directives needed for designers of tall wood buildings to produce their designs, plans and specifications. It has been developed to give them the information and general concepts required, based on the selected system. The elements and details required to comply with the guidelines in this document must be incorporated from a project’s initial design phase.
Part 1 – Guidelines contains several sections, including one that deals with basic conditions and describes the minimum general conditions applicable to any project for the construction of a wood building exceeding 6 storeys. The following sections contain special provisions that specify and complete the basic conditions.
The proposed National Building Code (NBC) 2020 and British Colombia Building Code (BCBC) 2018 both introduce EMTC for buildings up to 12 storeys. However, the current cost analysis of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) structures results, based on estimates for current projects in GHL’s office, is repeatedly in the range of 5% to 10% above that of concrete construction. In order to minimize construction cost and reduce cost premium, this project explores optimization of the thickness of the CLT assemblies.