Use of timber as a construction material has entered a period of renaissance since the development of high-performance engineered wood products, enabling larger and taller buildings to be built. In addition, due to substantial contribution of the building sector to global energy use, greenhouse gas emissions and waste production, sustainable solutions are needed, for which timber has shown a great potential as a sustainable, resilient and renewable building alternative, not only for single family homes but also for mid-rise and high-rise buildings. Both recent technological developments in timber engineering and exponentially increased use of engineered wood products and wood composites reflect in deficiency of current timber codes and standards. This paper presents an overview of some of the current challenges and emerging trends in the field of seismic design of timber buildings. Currently existing building codes and the development of new generation of European building codes are presented. Ongoing studies on a variety topics within seismic timber engineering are presented, including tall timber and hybrid buildings, composites with timber and seismic retrofitting with timber. Crucial challenges, key research needs and opportunities are addressed and critically discussed.
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.