This paper presents selected results of connector testing and wall testing which were part of a Forest Products Lab-funded project undertaken at Colorado State University in an effort to determine seismic performance factors for cross laminated timber (CLT) shear walls in the United States. Archetype development, which is required as part of the process, is also discussed. Connector tests were performed on generic angle brackets which were tested under shear and uplift and performed as expected with consistent nail withdrawal observed. Quasi-static cyclic tests were conducted on CLT shear walls to systematically investigate the effects of various parameters. Boundary constraints and gravity loading were both found to have a beneficial effect on the wall performance, i.e. higher strength and deformation capacity. Specific gravity also had a significant effect on wall behaviour while CLT thickness was less influential. Higher aspect ratio panels (4:1) demonstrated lower stiffness and substantially larger deformation capacity compared to moderate aspect ratio panels (2:1). However, based on the test results there is likely a lower bound of 2:1 for aspect ratio where it ceases to have any beneficial effect on wall behaviour. This is likely due to the transition from the dominant rocking behaviour to sliding behaviour.
A collaborative project between the Forest Products Laboratory and Colorado State University to develop seismic performance factors for cross laminated timber is underway. The project requires application of the FEMA P-695 methodology, which is purposely robust and detailed and requires that the project team follow specific procedures. Failure to develop these seismic performance factors would severely limit the acceptance of the CLT building systems in the United States, underscoring the need for application of the FEMA P-695. The FEMA P-695 document, “Quantification of Building Seismic Performance Factors,” was published in 2009 and defines a number of steps, all of which will be taken to develop the seismic performance factors for seismic design of CLT buildings.
The objectives of this research are (1) to develop seismic performance factors for CLT subject to a peer review panel process that includes an independent peer review committee report and (2) to have the resulting seismic performance factors recognized in ASCE 7 Minimum Design Loads for Buildings and Other Structures.