Nationwide, bridges are deteriorating at a rate faster than they can be rehabilitated and maintained. This has resulted in a search for new methods to rehabilitate, repair, manage, and construct bridges. As a result, structural health monitoring and smart structure concepts have emerged to help improve bridge management. In the case of timber bridges, however, a limited amount of research as been conducted on long-term structural health monitoring solutions, and this is especially true in regards to historic covered timber bridges. To date, evaluation efforts of timber bridges have focused primarily on visual inspection data to determine the structural integrity of timber structures. To fill this research need and help improve timber bridge inspection and management strategies, a 5-year research plan to develop a smart timber bridge structure was undertaken. The overall goal of the 5-year plan was to develop a turnkey system to analyze, monitor, and report on the performance and condition of timber bridges. This report outlines one phase of the 5-year research plan and focuses on developing and attaching moisture sensors onto timber bridge components. The goal was to investigate the potential for sensor technologies to reliably monitor the in situ moisture content of the timber members in historic covered bridges, especially those recently rehabilitated with glulam materials. The timber-specific moisture sensors detailed in this report and the data collected from them will assist in advancing the smart timber bridge.
The intent of this project is to research evaluation and rehabilitation methods that are applicable to mass timber structures following a fire. This includes addressing both fire damage and water damage from sprinkler activation and/or the use of firefighting hoses. This report provides an overview of the type of damage that might be expected following a fire and methods that might reduce potential damage (including design elements and firefighting tactics). Current and existing rehabilitation methods for wood construction will be reviewed and their applicability to mass timber structures will be discussed. This includes the ability to conduct condition assessments and repairs on building elements that can be done in place. The overall objective is to reduce uncertainty related to mass timber construction, which ultimately would allow for more accurate risk evaluation by insurance companies.
Mass timber and CLT construction offers many advantages, such as enhanced modularity, reduced construction schedules, improved thermal performance, and material sustainability. However, mass timber’s propensity to absorb moisture from the environment and the relative vapor impermeability of CLT panels introduces unique challenges when incorporated with the building enclosure. These challenges should be considered during design and construction phases to ensure long-term performance.
The VaproShield Mass Timber Building Enclosure Design Guideline covers the best practices for the design and construction of high-performance CLT wall and roof assemblies. RDH is the principal author and editor of the guide and within its capacity, we do not purport to endorse any specific material or technical matter within this guide.
International Nondestructive Testing and Evaluation of Wood Symposium
In this report, wooden members of sizes typically used in bridge construction are examined using x-ray computerized tomography (CT) to determine the presence of internal decay. This report is part of an overall study in which Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii) glue-laminated (glulam) beams and solid sawn timbers were inoculated with brown rot fungus, Fomitopsis pinicola, and exposed to aboveground conditions approximately 25 miles (40 km) north of Gulfport, Mississippi, USA. The goal of the overall study is to develop interior decay within the test specimens and then identify and characterize the decay using a variety of nondestructive testing (NDT) techniques. One NDT technique used is x-ray CT. The pixel brightness (PB) of CT scan images is proportional to the specific gravity (SG) at that location; high SG materials appear brighter whereas low SG materials appear darker. The consumption of wood by fungus decreases the wood SG; however, fungal progression takes place in areas where sufficient moisture is present. The presence of moisture increases wood SG as detected by the CT scan, which masks the effect of the fungal decay, which is a common co-occurrence with many NDT techniques. To identify incipient decay, it is necessary to examine the ring structure both within and outside of the area of moisture. Quantifying the extent of the decay requires correlating the PB to known SG values for both dry wood and wood of varying moisture content. In this report, the relationship between wood SG, moisture content, and PB was quantified.
This Illustrated Guide consolidates information on vaulted water-shedding roofs and flat waterproof membrane roofs that are capable of meeting R-30 or greater effective thermal performance when used on low- and mid-rise wood-frame buildings. The guide is intended to be an industry, utility, and government resource with respect to meeting this thermal performance level, while not compromising other aspects of building enclosure performance, including moisture management, air leakage, and durability.
The use of mass timber structural products in tall building applications (6–20 stories) is becoming more common around the world including North America. A potential concern is the environmental wetting of mass timber products during construction because such products may dry out more slowly than light-frame structural lumber, and wood, as an organic material, is susceptible to deterioration at elevated moisture contents. In order to better understand the moisture conditions present in high rise timber constructions, a long-term moisture monitoring program was implemented on an eight story, mixed-use, mass timber framed building in Portland, Oregon. The building was monitored with an array of moisture meters to track moisture content throughout the building’s construction and operation. This paper presents data covering a period just over one year starting from the manufacture of crosslaminated timber (CLT) panels. Hygrothermal properties of CLT samples of the same type used in the building were measured in the laboratory, and wetting and drying experiments on representative CLT samples were conducted. Simulated moisture contents using a one-dimensional hygrothermal model compared reasonably well with laboratory experiments and building site measurements.
International Conference on New Horizons in Green Civil Engineering
April 25-27,2018. Victoria, Canada
This paper presents preliminary findings from an ongoing research program instrumenting CLT buildings to measure wood moisture content. An overview of the research program is presented along with data from first year of moisture monitoring in an 8-story building in Portland, Oregon. This project measures the wood moisture content throughout the construction cycle, including the fabrication, shipping, staging, and erection of the panels. These preliminary field measurements can help characterize moisture changes in CLT during construction and guide the construction of future CLT buildings.
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 too slowly after they become wet during construction. The Wood Innovation and Design Centre in Prince George, British Columbia provides a unique opportunity for non-destructive...
International Conference on New Horizons in Green Civil Engineering
Wood structures such as the Wood Innovation and Design Center in Prince George and the UBC Tallwood House, an 18 storey, 53-meter-tall mass timber hybrid building are examples of new and innovative wood structures that encompass new construction techniques, unique materials and novel building practices. Empirical data on the condition of critical components and access to the real-time status of the structure during construction gives Architects, Engineers and Contractors critical information to make informed decisions to either validate or improve the construction plan. Data recorded during the life of the building helps validate the design decisions and proves the viability and feasibility of the design. Methods and practices used to monitor both the moisture performance of prefabricated cross laminate timber (CLT) as well as the vertical movement sensing of the building during and after construction are explored in this paper. Moisture content of the CLT panels has been recorded from manufacturing and prefabrication to storage, through transport and during installation and will continue throughout the service life of the building.
The calculated and expected displacement of the wood columns is scheduled to take several years as the structure settles, however a first-year analysis and extrapolation of the data was conducted. Monitoring during transport, storage, and construction proved that CLT panels were resilient to moisture issues while in the manufacturers storage, but prone to direct exposure to moisture-related problems regardless of the precautions taken on site. Despite construction during typical Pacific Northwest rain, informed decisions were made to ensure the panel moisture content could decrease to acceptable ranges before continuing to secondary construction phases. The moisture trends observed in the building were proportional to the control samples as both were subjected to similar environmental conditions.
Fifteen structural composite lumber (SCL) products including laminated-veneer lumber (LVL), laminated strand lumber (LSL), oriented strand lumber (OSL), and parallel strand lumber (PSL) provided by Boise Cascade, LP, West Fraser, and Weyerhaeuser were tested for moisture-related properties in this study, also covering four reference materials: 16-mm Oriented Strand Board (OSB), 19-mm Canadian Softwood Plywood (plywood), 38-mm Douglas-fir and lodgepole pine solid wood. Water absorption, vabour permeance, vapour sorption, and dimensional stability were measured with limited replication by following relevant standards for a purpose of assisting in improving building design and construction, such as hygrothermal modelling of building envelope assemblies, design for vertical differential movement, and on-site moisture management.