When Adidas announced plans for a two-building expansion of their North American headquarters, speed and budget were key criteria. They wanted a campus that reflected their culture and commitment to quality, authenticity and innovation, but had a strict 24-month deadline. In response, the design and construction team chose a hybrid of precast concrete and mass timber for one building, and a mass timber post-and-beam solution for the other, using prefabrication to reduce the construction schedule by more than three months.
The United States military is constantly evolving into an organization equipped by the latest technology and seeking the greatest protection per cost ratio for its members in harm’s way. While new protection methods are steadily produced by the Engineering Research and Development Command, most protective structure options fall into either very expensive or very labor-intensive structures with widely varying degrees of reusability and transportability. Furthermore, there is currently no widely accepted quantitative approach to help the decision-making process when choosing which system to use in a specific condition. This study will seek to create a framework which can be used to aid the decision-making process based on quantitative calculation of cost benefit of various protective systems. The framework will encompass resource metrics of man-hours, machine hours, and monetary cost. The calculations and assessments will also be affected by quantitative evaluations of military situations which can increase or decrease each value of resource metric. This study will also investigate the potential of using a mass timber product, namely Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels, as a protective structure that may be useful in certain military situations. While not designed to replace other systems, it is another option for military commanders and staffs to consider when choosing the most efficient and economical protection method for their soldiers.
Opening new markets for the use of CLT that can capitalize on the strength and speed of construction allowed by the technology creates the best opportunity for wood product market growth. One such market is the Department of Defense (DoD), representing an estimated 148 million board feet of additional lumber production. Wood products have been significantly under-represented in the DoD construction market because of their perceived performance in blast conditions. The objectives of this project are to develop a design methodology and to demonstrate performance for exterior bearing CLT walls used in buildings subject to force protection requirements. This methodology should be published by U.S. Army Corp of Engineers – Protective Design Center to be used by engineers for designing CLT elements to withstand blast loads as determined by code requirements and specific project conditions.
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.
Friction-based dampers are a valid solution for non-invasive seismic retrofitting interventions of existing structures, particularly reinforced-concrete (RC) structures. The design of friction-based dampers is challenging: underestimating the slip force prevents the full use of the potential of the device, which attains the maximum admissible displacement earlier than expected. By contrast, overestimating the slip force may cause delayed triggering of the device when the structure has suffered extensive damage. Therefore, designing the appropriate slip force is an optimization problem. The optimal slip force guarantees the highest inter-story drift reduction. The authors formulated the optimization problem for designing a specific class of friction-based dampers, the asymmetric friction connection (AFC), devised as part of the ongoing multidisciplinary Horizon 2020 research project e-SAFE (Energy and Seismic AFfordable rEnovation solutions). The seismic retrofitting technology involves the external application of modular prefabricated cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels on existing external walls. Friction dampers connect the CLT panels to the beams of two consecutive floors. The friction depends on the mutual sliding of two metal plates, pressed against each other by preloaded bolts. This study determines the optimal slip force, which guarantees the best seismic performance of an RC structural archetype. The authors investigate the nonlinear dynamic response of a coupled mechanical system (RC frame-friction damper) under a set of strong-motion earthquakes, using non-differential hysteresis models calibrated on the experimental cyclic responses. The solution of the optimization leads to the proposal of a preliminary simplified design procedure, useful for practitioners.
This study illustrates the range of possible wood construction approaches for school buildings that are up to four storeys in height. As land values continue to rise, particularly in higher-density urban environments, schools with smaller footprints will become increasingly more necessary to satisfy enrollment demands. There are currently a number of planned new school projects throughout British Columbia that anticipate requiring either three-or four-storey buildings, and it is forecasted that the demand for school buildings of this size will continue to rise.
This study is closely related to the report Risk Analysis and Alternative Solution for Three- and Four-Storey Schools of Mass Timber and/or Wood-Frame Construction prepared by GHL Consultants, which explores the building code related considerations of wood construction for school buildings that are up to four storeys in height. Though wood construction offers a viable structural material option for these buildings, the British Columbia Building Code (BCBC 2018) currently limits schools comprised of wood construction to a maximum of two storeys, while also imposing limits on the overall floor area. As such, the reader is referred to the GHL report for further information regarding building code compliance (with a particular emphasis on fire protection) for wood school buildings.
Mass timber structures have the potential to change wooden construction on a global scale. Numerous mass timber high-rise buildings are in planning, under development or already built and their performance will alter how architects and engineers view wood as a material. To date, the discussion of material durability and biodegradation in these structures has been limited. While all materials can be degraded by wetting, the potential for biodegradation of wood in a mass timber building requires special consideration. Identifying and eliminating the conditions that might lead to this degradation will be critical for ensuring proper performance of wood in these structures. This article reviews and contrasts potential sources of biodegradation that exist for traditional wood construction with those in mass timber construction and identifies methods for limiting the degradation risk. Finally, future research needs are outlined.
The purpose of this guide is to provide an introduction to the concept of encapsulated mass timber construction. This guide provides an overview of encapsulation techniques for mass timber construction, and other related fire protection measures, and summarizes some approved encapsulation materials and application methods and identifies additional requirements for safety during construction. This guide is intended to help architects, engineers and designers by reducing uncertainty and allowing for more confidence in design, as well as providing authorities having jurisdiction and inspectors with a reference for simple design review.
January 26-28, 2009, San Francisco, California, USA
Fire-resistive wood construction is achieved either by having the structural elements be part of fire-rated assemblies or by using elements of sufficient size that the elements themselves have the required fire-resistance ratings. For exposed structural wood elements, the ratings in the United States are calculated using either the T.T. Lie method or the National Design Specifications (NDS) Method. There is no widely accepted methodology in the United States to determine the fire-resistance rating of an individual structural wood element with the protective membrane directly applied to the exposed surfaces of the element. In these tests, we directly applied one or two layers of 16-mm thick fire-rated gypsum board or 13-mm thick southern pine plywood for the protective membrane to the wood element. The wood elements were Douglas-fir laminated veneer lumber (LVL) specimens and Douglas-fir gluedlaminated specimens that had previously been tested without any protective membrane. The methodology for the tension testing in the horizontal furnace was the same used in the earlier tests. The fire exposure was ASTM E 119. For the seven single-layer gypsum board specimens, the improvements ranged from 25 to 40 min. with an average value of 33 min. For the three double-layer specimens, the improvement in times ranged from 64 to 79 min. with an average value of 72 min. We concluded that times of 30 min. for a single layer of 16-mm Type X gypsum board and at least 60 min. for a double layer of 16-mm Type X gypsum board can be added to the fire rating of an unprotected structural wood element to obtain the rating of the protected element.
This article provides an overview of the code requirements pertinent to large cross-laminated timber (CLT) buildings and the methods for meeting the requirements in Canada. Canadian building codes are objective-based. Compliance with the code is achieved by directly applying the acceptable solutions up to certain prescriptive building sizes (height and area) or by developing alternative solutions beyond the height and area limits. The fire safety design for a CLT building larger than the prescriptive limit must demonstrate that the building will achieve at least the minimum level of performance afforded by noncombustible construction in limiting the structural involvement in fire and contribution to the growth and spread of fire during the time required for occupant evacuation and emergency responses.