The goal of this project is to contribute to the development of design values for cross-laminated timber (CLT) diaphragms in the seismic load-resisting system for buildings. Monotonic and cyclic tests to determine strength and stiffness characteristics of 2.44 m (8 ft) long shear connections with common self-tapping screws were performed. Understanding and quantifying the behavior of these shear connections will aid in developing design provisions in the National Design Specification for Wood Construction and the International Building Code so structural engineers can use CLT more confidently in lateral force-resisting systems and extend the heights of wood buildings. Experimental strength-to-design strength ratios were in the range of 2.1 to 8.7. In the ASCE 41 acceptance criteria analysis, the m-factors for the Life Safety performance level in cyclic tests ranged from 1.6 to 1.8 for surface spline connections and from 0.9 to 1.7 for cyclic half-lap connections. The half-lap connections, where screws were installed in withdrawal, shear, shear, and withdrawal, performed exceptionally well with both high, linear-elastic, initial stiffness, and ductile, post-peak behavior.
The need to lower the embodied carbon impact of the built environment and sequester carbon over the life of buildings has spurred the growth of mass timber building construction, leading to the introduction of new building types (Types IV-A, B, and C) in the 2021 International Building Code (IBC). The achievement of sustainability goals has been hindered by the perceived first cost assessment of mass timber systems. Optimizing cost is an urgent prerequisite to embodied carbon reduction. Due to a high level of prefabrication and reduction in field labor, the mass timber material volume constitutes a larger portion of total project cost when compared to buildings with traditional materials. In this study, the dollar cost, carbon emitted, and carbon sequestered of mass timber beam–column gravity system solutions with different design configurations was studied. Design parameters studied in this sensitivity analysis included viable building types, column grid dimension, and building height. A scenario study was conducted to estimate the economic viability of tall wood buildings with respect to land costs. It is concluded that, while Type III building designations are the most economical for lower building heights, the newly introduced Type IV subcategories remain competitive for taller structures while providing a potentially significant embodied carbon benefit.
Concealed spaces, such as those created by a dropped ceiling in a floor/ceiling assembly or by a stud wall assembly, have unique requirements in the International Building Code (IBC) to address the potential of fire spread in nonvisible areas of a building. Section 718 of the 2018 IBC includes prescriptive requirements for protection and/or compartmentalization of concealed spaces through the use of draft stopping, fire blocking, sprinklers and other means.
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.
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.
Project contact is Kuma Sumathipala at the American Wood Council
The United States has a vast supply of forest biomass, which provides an abundant resource suitable for the manufacturing of mass timber products. Recent research has shown that these mass timber products can be safely implemented in tall buildings. In 2018 and 2019, this research led to changes allowing the construction of 18 story buildings with mass timber structures in the 2021 International Building Code (IBC). Although this development has created opportunities, it does not respond to recent architectural trends, as the new regulations do not allow for visible mass timber in buildings exceeding 12 stories in height and only allow for limited areas of visible Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) surface in buildings from 9 to 12 stories in height.
The strict limitation on the area of visible mass timber in 2021 IBC was based partially on fire performance of CLT manufactured to an earlier edition (2012) of ANSI/APA PRG 320. New adhesive qualification requirements in the 2018 standard have significantly improved the fire performance of CLT. This improved fire performance represents an opportunity to justify increases to code-prescribed limits on exposed mass timber areas which would respond to current, and likely future, architectural aesthetic demands, allowing for an expansion of the market for tall mass timber buildings.
In order to justify these increases in allowable exposed mass timber areas, compartment fire tests will be designed and performed to demonstrate that the fire performance of increased exposed mass timber surfaces are consistent with the (newly-recognized) International Building Code safety criterion. In addition, fire safe solutions for the intersections between exposed mass timber members and restoration of fire-damaged exposed mass timber are needed to be developed and tested. Test results and other findings will be used to develop and justify new requirements for U.S. model building codes, thereby enabling more innovative utilization of renewable U.S. forest resources in construction.
This manual is helpful for experts and novices alike. Whether you’re new to mass timber or an early adopter you’ll benefit from its comprehensive summary of the most up to date resources on topics from mass timber products and applications to tall wood construction and sustainability.
The manual’s content includes WoodWorks technical papers, Think Wood continuing education articles, case studies, expert Q&As, technical guides and other helpful tools. Click through to view each individual resource or download the master resource folder for all files in one handy location. For your convenience, this book will be updated annually as mass timber product development and the market are quickly evolving.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a prefabricated solid engineered wood product made of at least three orthogonally bonded layers of solid-sawn lumber or structural composite lumber that are laminated by gluing of longitudinal and transverse layers with structural adhesives to form a solid rectangular-shaped, straight, and plane timber intended for roof, floor, or wall applications. While this engineered wood product has been used in Europe for over 15 years, the production of CLT and design of CLT structural systems have just begun in North America. For the acceptance of new construction materials or systems in North America, such as CLT, a consensus-based product standard is essential to the designers and regulatory bodies. This paper describes and documents the background information and some key issues that were considered during the development of the ANSI/APA PRG 320 Standard for Performance-Rated Cross Laminated Timber. This standard was developed based on the consensus standard development process of APA-The Engineered Wood Association as a standards developer accredited by the American National Standards lnstitute (ANSI). The CLT stress classes incorporated in this product standard are also discussed. The ANSI/APA PRG 320 standard has been approved by the Structural Committee of the lnternational Code Council (lCC) for the 20'15 lnternational Building Code (lBC).
The 2021 International Building Code (IBC) introduced three new construction types—Type IV-A, IV-B and IV-C—which allow tall mass timber buildings. For details on the new types and their requirements, see the WoodWorks paper, Tall Wood Buildings in the 2021 IBC – Up to 18 Stories of Mass Timber. This paper builds on that document with an in-depth look at the requirements for shaft walls, including when and where wood can be used.
In January 2019, the International Code Council (ICC) approved a set of proposals to allow tall wood buildings as part of the 2021 International Building Code (IBC). Based on these proposals, the 2021 IBC will include three new construction types—Type IV-A, IV-B and IV-C—allowing the use of mass timber or noncombustible materials. These new types are based on the previous Heavy Timber construction type (renamed Type IV-HT) but with additional fire-resistance ratings and levels of required noncombustible protection. The code will include provisions for up to 18 stories of Type IV-A construction for Business and Residential Occupancies.
Based on information first published in the Structural Engineers Association of California (SEAOC) 2018 Conference Proceedings, this paper summarizes the background to these proposals, technical research that supported their adoption, and resulting changes to the IBC and product-specific standards.