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.
Project contact is Yelda Turkan, Oregon State University
Over the past decade, fires have caused significant losses, both financial and through loss of lives, in timber buildings during construction (USFA 2020). Buildings under construction or in development are largely unprotected as they are not yet equipped with active fire protection systems (sprinklers), and for those buildings that are not designed for exposed timber, multiple floors are left exposed at a time as the fire protection trade trails in schedule behind the erection of the mass timber structural elements. With the addition of Type IVA, B, and C in the 2021 International Building Code (IBC), the IBC also adopted stricter requirements for mass timber buildings under construction. Under-construction mass timber buildings require that the mass timber is protected with noncombustible material within four levels of any construction more than six stories above grade. However, limited research has occurred to demonstrate that this construction sequence results in the optimal balance of safety, property loss, and cost.
The goals of this project are to: (a) develop a methodology to couple multiple commonly-used computational tools to evaluate the sequence of installation of passive fire protection in mass timber buildings under construction fire scenarios, (b) develop an analytical framework that can be implemented by industry to evaluate the risk and impact of fire protection construction sequencing on a job site while balancing property loss, cost, and life safety of construction workers due to a construction fire, and (c) identify knowledge gaps in fire dynamics in timber buildings that would increase the accuracy of predicting fire spread in mass timber buildings under construction.