Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers - Construction Materials
DOI link: https://doi.org/10.1680/jstbu.171.9.661
As the only renewable construction material, and owing to the superior specific stiffnesses and strengths of the different species, timber has been used in major load bearing applications for thousands of years. The advent of waterproof adhesives during World War II and recent advances in manufacturing have combined to exploit the ease of forming and machining this material, leading to various forms of engineered timber including glulam, laminated veneer lumber (LVL) and cross-laminated timber (CLT). Manufactured in lightweight modules that are easily transported, then quickly craned into position and connected to produce eye-catching structures, engineered timber provides cost-effective alternatives (with minimal numbers and complexity of connections) to conventional materials for rapid construction of affordable residential and office spaces in busy city centres.
Society of Wood Science and Technology International Convention
The application of deconstructable connectors in timber-concrete composite (TCC) floors enables the possibility of disassembly and reuse of timber materials at the end of building’s life. This paper introduces the initial concept of a deconstructable TCC connector comprised of a self-tapping screw embedded in a plug made of rigid polyvinyl chloride and a level adjuster made of silicone rubber. This connection system is versatile and can be applied for prefabrication and in-situ concrete casting of TCC floors in both wet-dry and dry-dry systems. The paper presents the results of preliminary tests on the shear performance of four different configurations of the connector system in T-section glulam-concrete composites. The shear performance is compared to that of a permanent connector made with the same type of self-tapping screw. The failure modes observed are also analyzed to provide technical information for further optimization of the connector in the future.
Timber-concrete composite (TCC) solutions are not a novelty. They were scientifically referred to at the beginning of the 20th century and they have proven their value in recent decades. Regarding a TCC floor at the design stage, there are some assumptions, at the standard level, concerning the action of concentrated loads which may be far from reality, specifically those associating the entire load to the beam over which it is applied. This naturally oversizes the beam and affects how the load is distributed transversally, affecting the TCC solution economically and mechanically. Efforts have been made to clarify how concentrated loads are distributed, in the transverse direction, on TCC floors. Real-scale floor specimens were produced and tested subjected to concentrated (point and line) loads. Moreover, a Finite Element (FE)-based model was developed and validated and the results were collected. These results show that the “loaded beam” can receive less than 50% of the concentrated point load (when concerning the inner beams of a medium-span floor, 4.00 m). Aiming at reproducing these findings on the design of these floors, a simplified equation to predict the percentage of load received by each beam as a function of the floor span, the transversal position of the beam, and the thickness of the concrete layer was suggested.
This paper presents the results of long-term experiments performed on three timber-concrete composite (TCC) beams. An innovative fabricated steel plate connection system, which consists of screws and steel plates embedded in concrete slabs, was adopted in the TCC beam specimens. The adopted shear connection can provide dry-type connection for TCC beams. Steel plates were embedded in concrete slabs while the concrete slab was constructed in factories. The timber beam and concrete slab can be assembled together using screws at the construction site. In this experimental programme, the beam specimens were subjected to constant loading for 613 days in indoor uncontrolled environments. The influence of long-term loading levels and the number of shear connections on the long-term performance of TCC beams was investigated and discussed. The mid-span deflection, timber strain, and interface relative slip at the positions of both connections and beam-ends were recorded throughout the long-term tests. It was found the long-term deflection of the TCC beam increased by approximately 60% while the long-term loads were doubled. Under the influence of the variable temperature and humidity, the TCC specimens with 8 shear connections showed slighter fluctuations compared with the TCC beam with 6 shear connections. In the 613-day observation period, the maximum deflection increment recorded was 6.56 mm for the specimen with eight shear connections and 20% loading level. A rheological model consisting of two Kelvin bodies was employed to fit the curves of creep coefficients. The final deflections predicted of all specimens at the end of 50-year service life were 2.1~2.7 times the initial deflections caused by the applied loads. All beam specimens showed relative small increments in mid-span deflection, strain and relative slip over time without any degradations, demonstrating the excellent long-term performance of TCC beams using the innovative steel plate connection system, which is also easily fabricated.
As an attempt to find a correlation between dynamic response of timber and timber-concrete composite floors and users’ comfort feeling, an in-situ measurements campaign will be carried out within the framework of a research project started at ESB, France. A large variability of buildings typology, as multi-unit housing, open-space offices and long-span offices with partition walls will be tested. The first experimental experience has shown that choices of means of excitation, type and positioning of sensors, data acquisition device, data analyses methods, depend on the floor configuration. Using in-situ test campaign as a database to compare different measurement protocols and assess the influence of different in-situ conditions, the paper will propose some guidelines for the measurement architecture, the equipment choice and the data analysis to be performed according to each building configuration.
This paper reflects on the structural design of Haut; a 21-storey high-end residential development in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. Construction started in 2019 and is in progress at the time of writing. Upon completion in 2021, Haut will be the first residential building in the Netherlands to achieve a 'BREEAM-outstanding' classification. The building will reach a height of 73 m, making it the highest timber structure in the Netherlands. It contains some 14.500 of predominantly residential functions. It features a hybrid concrete-timber stability system and concrete-timber floor panels. This paper describes the concepts behind the structural design for Haut and will touch upon the main challenges that have arisen from the specific combination of characteristics of the project. The paper describes the design of the stability system and -floor system, the analysis of differential movements between concrete and timber structures and wind vibrations. The paper aims to show how the design team has met these specific challenges by implementing a holistic design approach and integrating market knowledge at an early stage of the design.
Experimental tests of a composite concrete-cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor system were conducted. The floor system was constructed with 5-ply CLT panels (6.75 in. thick) made composite with a 2.25 in. thick reinforced concrete topping slab. Four series of tests were performed using different specimen configurations and laboratory testing methods. Tests included: (1) Comparative one-way bending tests (CB) to evaluate the performance of alternative shear connectors used to join the concrete slab to the CLT panel; (2) Orthotropic stiffness and strength tests (OS) to evaluate the elastic orthotropic stiffness of the deck system and provide strength results for weak-axis bending and negative moment strength; (3) Full-scale system performance tests (FS) of a continuous floor span to establish strength at realistic span lengths and the influence of continuity; and (4) Long-term deformation tests (LT) to investigate creep deflections of the composite concrete-CLT floor system considering positive and negative bending influences.
Results include overall strength, elastic stiffness values, deformation capacity, slip deformations along the concrete-CLT interface, predicted neutral axis locations in the composite concrete-CLT systems, and connection deformations.
Due to the increasing environmental awareness, the transition pace to renewable materials has increased, and the use of timber in construction is no exception. However, using timber in high rise building applications comes with structural challenges, e.g dynamic issues originating from timber being lightweight compared to conventional building materials. Some of the structural challenges with timber can be resolved by the implementation of Timber Concrete Composites (TCC), which increases the effective bending stiffness by adding a concrete layer connected to the underlying timber floor. Furthermore, the higher self-weight of concrete contributes to improved dynamic performance.
Despite the fact that the TCC floor is a versatile and quite common structural design solution in Europe, the TCC knowledge in the Swedish construction industry is limited. The main scope of the thesis is to raise this knowledge of TCC by studying the structural behavior and develop applicable design methods. Both analytical design methods and FE-modelling are addressed. The content is limited to TCC floors with a 5-layer Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) section, with use of notches or screws as shear connectors.
In CLT design, the Gamma method is commonly used and applicable to a CLT layup up to 5 layers. This method can, by a slight modification, be applicable for TCC sections with a 5-layer CLT as well. The concrete layer on top is regarded as an additional longitudinal layer, flexibly connected to the CLT section. The Equivalent gamma method and the Extended gamma method are two modified versions of the conventional Gamma method, valid for TCC floors with 5-layer CLT sections. Each method determines the effective bending stiffness accurately, compared to FE-modelling and laboratory test results. The Extended gamma method has a more solid theoretical base compared to the Equivalent gamma method, and is considered the recommended design method. The simplified methodology of the Equivalent gamma method is theoretically questionable, hence its recommended use is for preliminary calculations only.
The following concluding remarks can be drawn from the analysis of the structural behavior of TCC floors:
- The shear connectors should be concentrated to areas of high shear flow, i.e. close to support, for optimal structural performance.
- An increased ratio of timber in the longitudinal, load-bearing direction of the CLT section increases the effective bending stiffness of the TCC.
- The concrete layer increases the effective bending stiffness due to the high Young's modulus. However, the high density of concrete entails a thin concrete layer thickness to achieve a light-weight and structural efficient TCC system, and the decisive optimisation factor is the ratio of mass-to-effective bending stiffness, m/EI.
Long-span timber-concrete composite (TCC) floor systems have the potential to address the design challenges for conventional wooden floors in residential multi-storey timber frame buildings. The aim of this paper is to develop a design approach for long-span timber-concrete composite floor system of 6–9 m. A framework based on value-driven design approach has been developed for integration of results from graphical multi-objective optimisation, spreadsheet-based analysis, structural static and dynamic finite element analysis, and multi-criteria decision making. To verify the developed framework, a residential five-storey timber frame building as a case study has been studied. Optimal design includes optimised thickness of the concrete and optimised smeared stiffness of connectors for three different comfort classes A to C in descending order. TCC floor with span length 7.3 [m] belonging to comfort class A and TCC floor with span length 9.0 [m] belonging to comfort class C has been chosen as optimal solutions. The results indicate that proposed and innovative design approach is a promising tool for developers, architects and structural engineers when designing optimal long-span timber-concrete composite floor system.