Advanced industrialized construction methods enable complex building components and systems to be built with high precision and quality. This manufacturing technique has an advantage to provide cost-competitive and high energy efficient building components and systems for both retrofits and new construction. This document gives an overview of the use of prefabricated panels in building Net Zero Energy Ready wood-frame multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) in Edmonton.
This literature review aims to provide a general picture of retrofit needs, markets, and commonly used strategies and measures to reduce building energy consumption, and is primarily focused on energy retrofit of the building envelope. Improving airtightness and thermal performance are the two key aspects for improving energy performance of the building envelope and subsequently reducing the energy required for space heating or cooling. This report focuses on the retrofit of single family houses and wood-frame buildings and covers potential use of wood-based systems in retrofitting the building envelope of concrete and steel buildings.
Air sealing is typically the first step and also one of the most cost-effective measures to improving energy performance of the building envelope. Airtightness can be achieved through sealing gaps in the existing air barrier, such as polyethylene or drywall, depending on the air barrier approach; or often more effectively, through installing a new air barrier, such as an airtight exterior sheathing membrane or continuous exterior insulation during retrofit. Interface detailing is always important to achieve continuity and effectiveness of an air barrier. For an airtight building, mechanical ventilation is needed to ensure good indoor air quality and heat recovery ventilators are typically required for an energy efficient building.
Improving thermal resistance of the building envelope is the other key strategy to improve building energy efficiency during retrofit. This can be achieved by: 1. blowing or injecting insulation into an existing wall or a roof; 2. building extra framing, for example, by creating double-stud exterior walls to accommodate more thermal insulation; or, 3. by installing continuous insulation, typically on the exterior. Adding exterior insulation is a major solution to improving thermal performance of the building envelope, particularly for large buildings. When highly insulated building envelope assemblies are built, more attention is required to ensure good moisture performance. An increased level of thermal insulation generally increases moisture risk due to increased vapour condensation potential but reduced drying ability. Adding exterior insulation can make exterior structural components warmer and consequently reduce vapour condensation risk in a heating climate. However, the vapour permeance of exterior insulation may also affect the drying ability and should be taken into account in design.
Overall energy retrofit remains a tremendous potential market since the majority of existing buildings were built prior to implementation of any energy requirement and have large room available for improving energy performance. However, significant barriers exist, mostly associated with retrofit cost. Improving energy performance of the building envelope typically has a long payback time depending on the building, climate, target performance, and measures taken. Use of wood-based products during energy retrofit also needs to be further identified and developed.
Project contact is Mark Fretz at the University of Oregon
University of Oregon and Oregon State University are collaborating through TallWood Design Institute (TDI) to upgrade aging, energy inefficient and seismically unprepared multifamily housing by developing a mass plywood (MPP) retrofit panel assembly that employs digital workflows and small diameter logs (down to 5") to create an economically viable energy/seismic retrofit model for the West Coast and beyond. The project has broad potential to support forested federal land management agencies and private forestry by proving a new market for small diameter logs.
Many of the 1,400 timber bridges in Minnesota do not meet present day standards. Some of these bridges can be improved rather than replaced. When the desired service level can be attained by widening a bridge six feet or less, the bridge can be retrofitted by placing a second, wider, transverse deck onto the existing deck and substructure. Bridge components must be carefully inspected prior to a retrofit project. The retrofit of Bridge #6641 in Sibley County is a good example. First, the bituminous surface was removed. A longitudinal beam supported the extended deck. Grout was poured and leveled and then nail-laminated panels were laid transversely. A bituminous surface was laid over the full width of the new deck. The cost of the project was $51,632. (Replacing the bridge was estimated to take 2-3 years and cost $215,000.) The county quantified the strength change and load distribution characteristics by performing static and dynamic load tests before and after the retrofit. Adding a second deck effectively decreased the static deflections and improved the transverse load distribution. Nail-laminated timber bridge #2642, also in Sibley County, was retrofitted in 1992 and load-tested again in 1995. All dynamic deflections were lower than those of the post-retrofit tests in 1992. This improvement can be explained in part by the drying of the moisture that was introduced into the bridge deck during grouting. A retrofitted timber bridge is expected to last an additional 20-40 years.
Highly loaded and large span timber beams are often used for halls, public buildings or bridges.
Reinforcement of beams may be required to extend the life of the structure, due to deterioration or damage to the material/product or change of use. The paper summarises methods to repair or enhance the structural performance of timber beams. The main materials/products cross sections and geometries used for timber beam are presented. Furthermore, their general failure modes are described and typical retrofitting and reinforcement techniques are given. The techniques include wood to wood replacements, use of mechanical fasteners and additional strengthening materials/products.
The FEMA P-807 Guidelines were developed for retrofitting soft-story wood-frame buildings based on existing data, and the method had not been verified through full-scale experimental testing. This article presents two different retrofit designs based directly on the FEMA P-807 Guidelines that were examined at several different seismic intensity levels. The effects of the retrofits on damage to the upper stories were investigated. The results from the hybrid testing verify that designs following the FEMA P-807 Guidelines meet specified performance levels and appear to successfully prevent collapse at significantly higher seismic intensity levels well beyond for which they were designed. Based on the test results presented in this article, it is recommended that the soft-story-only retrofit procedure can be followed when financial or other constraints limit the retrofit from bringing the soft-story building up to current code or applying performance-based procedures.
Soft-story wood-frame buildings have been recognized as a disaster preparedness problem for decades. There are tens of thousands of these multi-family three- and four-story structures throughout California and other cities in the United States. The majority were constructed between 1920 and 1970, with many being prevalent in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. The NEES-Soft project was a five-university multi-industry effort that culminated in a series of full-scale soft-story wood-frame building tests to validate retrofit philosophies proposed by (1) the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) P-807 guidelines and (2) a performance-based seismic retrofit (PBSR) approach developed within the project. Four different retrofit designs were developed and validated at full-scale, each with specified performance objectives, which were typically not the same. This paper focuses on the retrofit design using cross laminated timber (CLT) rocking panels and presents the experimental results of the full-scale shake table test of a four-story 370 m2 (4000 ft2) soft-story test building with that FEMA P-807 focused retrofit in place. The building was subjected to the 1989 Loma Prieta and 1992 Cape Mendocino ground motions scaled to 5% damped spectral accelerations ranging from 0.2 to 0.9 g.
Many of the woodframe buildings in United States, particularly along the pacific coast, have more than one story with the first floor used either for parking or commercial space which require large openings and few partition walls at that level. This open space condition
results in the earthquake resistance of the first story being significantly lower than the upper stories thus creating first stories that are both “weak” (low strength) and “soft” (low stiffness) in nature. This feature has the potential to allow formation of the soft first story mechanism during earthquakes. The United States National Science Foundation (NSF) – funded NEES-Soft project has been undertaken to develop and validate economical retrofit concepts for these types of buildings. Shake table tests on a four-story full scale model building were performed with different retrofit schemes as part of the experimental investigation. One of the retrofit measures investigated was addition of cross laminated timber rocking walls at the first floor level for increased seismic resistance. This paper focuses on the experimental performance of soft-story buildings retrofitted with cross laminated timber rocking walls. Moderate damage was observed at the first story level of the building while theupper three stories exhibited very little signs of distress. The focus of this paper is to establish correlation between the observed damage and drift. The Cross laminated timber (CLT) rocking walls were designed as per FEMA P-807 guidelines to satisfy the San Francisco mandatory softstory retrofit ordinance requirements. The tests confirmed the efficiency of CLT retrofit with expected levels of drifts throughout the structure.