Through long-term measurements of climate data (temperature, relative humidity) and timber moisture content on large-span timber structures in buildings of typical construction type and use, data sets were generated which deliver information on the sequence and magnitude of seasonal variations. The measurement of moisture in different depths of the cross-section is of particular interest to draw conclusions on the size and speed of adjustment of the moisture distribution to changing climatic conditions. The moisture gradient has direct influence on the size of the internal stresses and possible damage potential. Similarly, the results provide a review and extension of the previous classification of buildings into use classes. They allow for a more precise indication of range of resulting equilibrium moisture content for the specific use, enabling the installation of timber elements with adjusted moisture content. The results of the research project also support the development of appropriate monitoring systems, which could be used in the form of early warning systems based on climate measurements
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.