This article presents recent research on the seismic resistance of coupled post-tensioned timber walls for use in multi-story buildings. The walls are constructed from laminated veneer lumber (LVL), post-tensioned with unbonded vertical tendons, and coupled together with mild steel U-shaped flexural plates (UFPs) as energy dissipating elements. The timber wall design follows the same principles as used for post-tensioned precast concrete wall systems, using U-shaped plates to obtain a “hybrid” system, where energy is dissipated through yielding of the plates, while the vertical post-tensioning provides the restoring force. In this project, the same principles are applied to timber coupled walls. A series of quasi-static cyclic and pseudo-dynamic tests have been carried out to verify the applicability of the concept and the feasibility of the construction technology in timber buildings. The U-shaped plates showed stable energy dissipation characteristics and, in combination with the post-tensioning, desirable re-centering hysteretic behavior typically referred to as “flag-shape”. Because of the simplicity of these elements and the low cost of implementation, they have good prospects for practical application.
Laminated veneer lumber (LVL) structural members have recently been proposed for multi-storey timber buildings based on ongoing research at University of Canterbury, New Zealand. The members are designed with unbonded post-tensioning for recentering and energy dissipation through the ductile connections. This paper describes the experimental and numerical investigation of post-tensioned LVL walls coupled with plywood sheets, under quasistatic cyclic testing protocols. It is observed that energy is dissipated mostly through yielding of the nails, and the LVL walls return close to their initial position while remaining virtually undamaged. The same specimen has been tested under repeated cyclic loading to investigate the performance of the arrangement under more than one seismic event (a major earthquake followed by a significant aftershock). Different nail spacing and arrangements have been tested to compare their energy dissipation characteristics.
The results indicate good seismic performance, characterized by negligible damage of the structural members and very small residual deformations. The only component significantly damaged is the nailed connection between the plywood sheet and the LVL walls. Although the nails yield and there is a reduction in stiffness the system exhibits a stable performance without any major degradation throughout the loading regime. The plywood can be easily removed and replaced with new sheets after an earthquake, which are reasonably cheap and easy to install, allowing for major reduction in downtime. With these additional benefits the concept has potential for consideration as an alternative solution for multi-storey timber buildings.
New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Conference
April 26-28, 2013, Wellington, New Zealand
This paper describes options for seismic design of pre-fabricated timber core-wall
systems, used as stairwells and lift shafts for lateral load resistance in multi-storey timber
buildings. The use of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels for multi-storey timber buildings is
gaining popularity throughout the world, especially for residential construction. This
paper describes the possible use of CLT core-walls for seismic resistance in open-plan
commercial office buildings in New Zealand. Previous experimental testing at the
University of Canterbury has been done on the in-plane behaviour of single and coupled
Pres-Lam post-tensioned timber walls. However there has been very little research done
on the behaviour of timber walls that are orthogonal to each other and no research into
CLT walls in the post-tensioned Pres-Lam system. This paper describes the proposed test regime and design detailing of two half-scale twostorey CLT stairwells to be tested under a bi-directional quasi-static loading. The test specimens will include a half-flight stair case with landings within the stairwell. The “High seismic option” consists of post-tensioned CLT walls coupled with energy dissipating U-shaped Flexural Plates (UFP) attached between wall panels and square hollow section steel columns at the corner junctions. An alternative “Low seismic option” uses the same post-tensioned CLT panels, with no corner columns or UFPs. The panels will be connected by screws to provide a semi-rigid connection, allowing relative
movement between the panels producing some level of energy dissipation.
New Zealand Society for Earthquake Engineering Conference
March 21-23, 2014, Auckland, New Zealand
This paper describes the results of experimental tests on two posttensioned timber core-walls tested under bi-directional quasi-static seismic loading. The half-scale two-storey test specimens included a stair with half-flight landings. The use of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) panels for multi-storey timber buildings is gaining popularity throughout the world, especially for residential construction. Posttensioned timber core-walls for lift-shafts or stairwells can be used for seismic resistance in open-plan commercial office buildings Previous experimental testing has been done on the in-plane behaviour of single and coupled timber walls at the University of Canterbury and elsewhere. However, there has been very little research done on the 3D behaviour of timber walls that are orthogonal to each other, and no research to date into post-tensioned CLT walls.
The “high seismic option” consisted of full height post-tensioned CLT walls coupled with energy dissipating U-shaped Flexural Plates (UFPs) attached at the vertical joints between coupled wall panels and between wall panels and the steel corner columns. An alternative “low seismic option” consisted of post-tensioned CLT panels connected by screws, to provide a semi-rigid connection, allowing relative movement between the panels, producing some level of frictional energy dissipation.