Wood is a hygro-mechanical, non-isotropic and inhomogeneous material concerning both modulus of elasticity (MOE) and shrinkage properties. In stress calculations associated with ordinary timber design, these matters are often not dealt with properly. The main reason for this is that stress distributions in inhomogeneous glued laminated members (glulams) and in composite beams exposed to combined mechanical action and variable climate conditions are extremely difficult to predict by hand. Several experimental studies of Norway spruce have shown that the longitudinal modulus of elasticity and the longitudinal shrinkage coefficient vary considerably from pith to bark.
The question is how much these variations affect the stress distribution in wooden structures exposed to variable moisture climate. The paper presents a finite element implementation of a beam element with the aim of studying how wooden composites behave during both mechanical and environmental load action. The beam element is exposed to both axial and lateral deformation. The material model employed concerns the elastic, shrinkage, mechano-sorption and visco-elastic behaviour of the wood material. It is used here to simulate the behaviour of several simplysupported and continuous composite beams subjected to both mechanical and environmental loading to illustrate the advantages this can provide. The results indicate clearly both the inhomogeneity of the material and the variable moisture action occurring to have had a significant effect on the stress distribution within the cross-section of the products that were studied.
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.
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.
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.
Vertical movement of wood frame buildings has become an important consideration in recent years with the increase of building height in Europe, North America, and Asia up to 6-storeys. This movement is composed of wood shrinkage and load-induced movement including initial settlement and creep. It is extremely difficult to identify the relative contributions of these components while monitoring full size buildings. A laboratory test was therefore designed to do this under controlled environmental and loading conditions. Two identical small-scale platform frame structures with dimensional lumber floor joists were designed and constructed, with built-in vertical movement and moisture content monitoring systems. The two structures were first conditioned in a chamber to achieve an initial moisture content (MC) about 20% to simulate typical MC on exposed construction sites in wintertime in Coastal BC. After the two structures were moved from the conditioning chamber into the laboratory environment, using a unique cantilever system, Structure No. 1 was immediately loaded to measure the combined shrinkage and deformation in the process of drying. Structure No. 2 was not loaded until after the wood had dried to interior equilibrium moisture content to observe the shrinkage and load-induced movement separately. The load applied on the two structures simulated a dead load experienced by the bottom floor of a six-storey wood frame building. The vertical movement and MC changes were monitored over a total period of six months. Meanwhile, shrinkage coefficients were measured by using end-matched lumber samples cut from the plate members of the two structures to predict the shrinkage amounts of the horizontal members of the two structures.
The results suggested that a load must be applied for movement to “show up” and occur in a downward direction. Without loads other than the wood weight, even shrinkage could show as upward movement. Monitoring of Structure No. 1 appeared to separate the contributions of wood shrinkage, initial settlement (bedding-in movement), and creep reasonably well. The entire movement amount reached about 19 mm after six months, which was comparable to the vertical movement measured from the bottom floor of a 4-storey wood-frame building in BC. Shrinkage accounted for over 60% of the vertical movement, with the other 40% contributed by load-induced movement including initial settlement and creep (when elastic compression was neglected); the magnitude of creep was similar to the initial settlement amount. Structure No. 2 showed less vertical movement but an increased settlement amount at the time of loading, indicating the presence of larger gaps between members when the wood was dry (with an estimated MC of 11%) before loading. Depending on construction sequencing, such settlement should occur with increase in loads during construction and can therefore be ignored in design. However, this test suggested that there may be a need to consider the impact of creep, in wet climates in particular, in addition to wood shrinkage.
This laboratory test will be maintained for a longer period to observe any further vertical movement and the relative contributions of shrinkage and creep. Similar tests should be conducted for structures built with engineered wood floor joists, given the fact that most mid-rise platform buildings use engineered wood floor joists instead of lumber joists.
This report summarizes the existing knowledge on building movement related to wood-frame construction. This knowledge includes fundamental causes and characteristics of wood shrinkage, instantaneous and time-dependent deformations under load, major wood-based materials used for construction and their shrinkage characteristics, movement amounts in publications based on limited field measurement, and movement estimations by construction practitioners based on their experience with wood-frame construction. Movement analysis and calculations were also demonstrated by focusing on wood shrinkage based on common engineering design assumptions, using six-storey platform buildings as examples. The report then provides engineering solutions for key building locations where differential movement could occur, based on the literature review as well as a small-scale survey of the construction industry.
The report emphasizes the importance of comprehensive analysis during design and construction to accommodate differential movement. Most building materials move when subjected to loading or when environmental conditions change. It is always good practice to detail buildings so that they can accommodate a certain range of movement, whether due to structural loading, moisture or temperature changes. For wood-frame buildings, movement can be reduced by specifying materials with lower shrinkage rates, such as engineered wood products and drier lumber. However, this may add considerable costs to building projects, especially when specifications have to be met through customized orders. Producing lumber with a lower moisture content adds significant costs, given the additional energy consumption, lumber degrade and sorting requirements during kiln drying. Specifying materials with lower moisture content at time of delivery to job site does not guarantee that wood will not get wet during construction, and excessive shrinkage could still be caused by excessively long time of exposure to rain during construction. On the other hand, effective drying can occur during the period between lumber delivery and lumber closed into building assemblies. Appropriate measures should be taken to ensure lumber protection against wetting, protected panel fabrication on site, good construction sequence to facilitate air drying, and supplementary heating before closing in to improve wood drying.
This report also provides recommendations for future work, including field measurement of movement and construction sequencing optimization, in order to provide better information for the design and construction of wood buildings, five- and six-storey platform frame buildings in particular.
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.
It is not possible or practical to precisely predict the vertical movement of wood structures due to the many factors involved in construction. It is, however, possible to obtain a good estimate of the vertical movement to avoid structural, serviceability, and building envelope problems over the life of the structure.
Typically “S-Dry” and “S-Grn” lumber will continue to lose moisture during storage, transportation and construction as the wood is kept away from liquid water sources and adapts to different atmospheric conditions. For the purpose of shrinkage prediction, it is usually customary to assume an initial moisture content (MC) of 28% for “S-Green” lumber and 19% for “S-Dry” lumber. “KD” lumber is assumed to have an initial MC of 15% in this series of fact sheets.
Different from solid sawn wood products, Engineered Wood Products (EWP) are usually manufactured with MC levels close to or even lower than the equilibrium moisture content (EMC) in service. Plywood, Oriented Strand Board (OSB), Laminated Veneer Lumber (LVL), Laminated Strand Lumber (LSL), and Parallel Strand Lumber (PSL) are usually manufactured at MC levels ranging from 6% to 12%. Engineered wood I-joists are made using kiln dried lumber (usually with moisture content below 15%) or structural composite lumber (such as LVL) flanges and plywood or OSB webs, therefore they are usually drier and have lower shrinkage than typical “S-Dry” lumber floor joists. Glued-laminated timbers (Glulam) are manufactured at MC levels from 11% to 15%, so are the recently-developed Cross-laminated Timbers (CLT). For all these products, low shrinkage can be achieved and sometimes small amounts of swelling can be expected in service if their MC at manufacturing is lower than the service EMC. In order to fully benefit from using these dried products including “S-Dry” lumber and EWP products, care must be taken to prevent them from wetting such as by rain during shipment, storage and construction. EWPs may also have lower shrinkage coefficients than solid wood due to the adhesives used during manufacturing and the more mixed grain orientations in the products, including the use of cross-lamination of veneers (plywood) or lumber (CLT). The APEGBC Technical and Practice Bulletin emphasizes the use of EWP and dimension lumber with 12% moisture content for the critical horizontal members to reduce differential movement in 5 and 6-storey wood frame buildings.