As the height of mass timber buildings continues to grow, a new set of design and detailing challenges arises, creating the need for new engineering solutions to achieve optimal building construction and performance. One necessary detailing consideration is vertical movement, which includes column shrinkage, joint settlement, and creep. The main concerns are the impact of deformations on vertical mechanical systems, exterior enclosures, and interior partitions, as well as differential vertical movement of timber framing systems relative to other building features such as concrete core walls and exterior façades.
The cost of connections in a mass timber structure can significantly affect the overall project cost; however, because mass timber connection design must consider not only structural design but also aesthetics, fire-rating requirements, constructability, accommodations for shrinkage and swelling, and moisture protection, finding the optimal solution can be challenging. To assist designers in this effort, WoodWorks has published an easy to use index highlighting the spectrum of available structural and architectural mass timber connections. The intent is to facilitate the selection of cost-optimal connection types while balancing other important considerations. This paper focuses on the structural connections in the index, addressing each of these considerations.
Although cross-laminated timber (CLT) offers greatly improved directional stability against moisture changes compared to lumber, some layup dependent directional differences still remain. Furthermore, even under a purely homogeneous distributed moisture change strong deformations appear along the boundaries, which show a decrease of swelling/shrinkage towards the inside of CLT panels. Metrological determination of this behavior is still a challenging task and involves long-lasting moisture content conditioning and typically manual measurements. This limits the amount of measurable data-points and thus the gain-able insights.
We apply a recently introduced computer vision technique based on optical flow from scan images to measure surface deformation fields of various CLT specimens with different layups. This allows us to measure the change of average differential swelling and shrinkage coefficients throughout the cross section and visualize them as curves with high resolution. We gain measurements for each image pixel and demonstrate good matching to previously published manual single-point measurements.
Furthermore, we analyze various specimens specifically built to allow for investigations of the aforementioned boundary effects. Using the computer vision approach we are able to show how the combination of homogeneous deformations and boundary effects leads to the resulting deformations observable with manual methods.
The goal of this study was to investigate the effects of size and species on moisture-related strain in glued–laminated timber (glulam). Swelling and shrinkage behaviors of different sizes (120 120, 180 180, and 180 240 mm2) of glulam made from larch and pine were measured using digital image correlation. A new approach to predict dimensional changes of glulam was developed by reflecting the nonlinear behavior of shrinkage based on MC change. It was compared with the existing method provided by the American Wood Council (AWC). Moisture-related strains of glulam were significantly influenced by size and species. Coefficients of swelling or shrinkage of glulam were determined to indicate statistical significance. When MC was changed from saturated condition to EMC of 12%, differences in dimensional changes in the width direction between experimental test and prediction results using the AWC method ranged from 87.7% to 260.0%. However, differences in dimensional changes in the width direction between experimental test and prediction results using the newly developed method ranged from 1.8% to 15.9%. Strains in the width direction of glulam could be affected by adjacent laminas along the glue line and the new approach could account for the effects. However, the AWC method could not reflect the effects of adjacent laminas along the glue line. Therefore, better prediction accuracy was achieved by using the new approach.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is becoming increasingly adopted into wooden construction of South Korea. Due to the lack of standards and protocol for CLT, there are many problems in the production and utilization phases. This study focused on the deformation and defects of CLT due to humidity variations. In this study, small, cross-laminated specimens were manufactured using three layers of laminated larch planks that had various moisture contents. The dimensional changes of these specimens were measured in response to changing internal conditions including side adhesion or moisture content variation and external conditions such as humidity. Shrinkage in width and thickness was less than 1.0% when using dry planks as the cross-laminated specimen. However, high-moisture content (MC) planks were not suitable when used as the surface layer of the CLT, as the shrinkage in width and thickness were greater than 2.0%. When high-MC planks are used in the inner layer, their shrinkage must be less than 2% to prevent splitting caused by a MC difference between the surface and inner planks. For this purpose, laminates with a MC less than 15% should be used for CLT.
Long-term serviceability is an important aspect in the implication of wood as a construction material. In this study, a comprehensive experimental program aims to address all the required parameters in long-term constitutive models of wood available in the literature which was taken from inconsistent sources earlier. The experimental program considers the effect of viscoelastic and mechano-sorptive creep, shrinkage and swelling, thermal and moisture inelastic deformation, and deformation due to Young’s modulus changes. The tests include tensile loading of wood specimens invariable outdoor climatic conditions in different applied stress levels. Sustained tensile loads were applied in parallel to the grain direction to specimens of Splash Pine (Pinus elliottii), Pacific Teak (Tectona grandis), and Laminated Lumber Veneer (LVL) of Radiata Pine (Pinus radiata). Tests were conducted at three different stress levels simultaneously and environmental parameters viz. temperature and relative humidity were monitored continuously throughout the loading period. Complementary data for diffusion coefficient, shrinkage, and swelling were measured in three orthogonal directions. In addition, sorption-desorption isotherm of the sample in the range of 0-100% relative humidity is presented.
In wood-frame buildings of three or more stories, cumulative shrinkage can be significant and have an impact on the function and performance of finishes, openings, mechanical/electrical/plumbing (MEP) systems, and structural connections. However, as more designers look to wood-frame construction to improve the cost and sustainability of their mid-rise projects, many have learned that accommodating wood shrinkage is actually very straightforward. This publication will describe procedures for estimating wood shrinkage and provide detailing options that minimize its effects on building performance.
In this paper, we discuss the structural design of one of the tallest timber-based hybrid buildings in the world: the 18 storey, 53 meter tall student residence on the campus of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. The building is of hybrid construction: 17 storeys of mass wood construction on top of one storey of concrete construction. Two concrete cores containing vertical circulation provide the required lateral resistance. The timber system is comprised of cross-laminated timber panels, which are point supported on glued-laminated timber columns and steel connections between levels. In addition to providing more than 400 beds for students, the building will serve as an academic site to monitor and study its structural performance, specifically horizontal building vibration and vertical shrinkage considerations. We present the challenges relating to the approval process of the building and discuss building code compliance issues.
Two of the major topics of interest to those designing taller and larger wood buildings are the susceptibility to differential movement and the likelihood of mass timber components drying slowly after they are wetted during construction. The Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, British Columbia provides a unique opportunity for non-destructive testing and monitoring to measure the ‘As Built’ performance of a relatively tall mass timber building. Field measurements also provide performance data to support regulatory and market acceptance of wood-based systems in tall and large buildings.
This report first describes instrumentation to measure the vertical movement of selected glulam columns and cross-laminated timber (CLT) walls in this building. Three locations of glulam columns and one CLT wall of the core structure were selected for measuring vertical movement along with the environmental conditions (temperature and humidity) in the immediate vicinity. The report then describes instrumentation to measure the moisture changes in the wood roof structure. Six locations in the roof were selected and instrumented for measuring moisture changes in the wood as well as the local environmental conditions.
The evaluation of damages in large-span timber structures indicates that the predominantly observed damage pattern is pronounced cracking in the lamellas of glued-laminated timber elements. A significant proportion of these cracks is attributed to the seasonal and use-related variations of the internal climate within large buildings and the associated inhomogeneous shrinkage and swelling processes in the timber elements. To evaluate the significance of these phenomena, long-term measurements of climatic conditions and timber moisture content were taken within large-span timber structures in buildings of typical construction type and use. These measurements were then used to draw conclusions on the magnitude and time necessary for adjustment of the moisture distribution to changing climatic conditions. A comparison of the results for different types of building use confirms the expected large range of possible climatic conditions in buildings with timber structures. Ranges of equilibrium moisture content representative of the type and use of building were obtained. These ranges can be used in design to condition the timber to the right value of moisture content, in this way reducing the crack formation due to moisture variations. The results of this research also support the development of suitable monitoring systems which could be applied in form of early warning systems on the basis of climate measurements. Based on the results obtained, proposals for the practical implementation of the results are given.