The use of cross-laminated timber (CLT) in residential and non-residential buildings is becoming increasingly popular in North America. While the 2016 supplement to the 2014 edition of the Canadian Standard for Engineering Design in Wood, CSAO86, provides provisions for CLT structures used in platform type applications, it does not provide guidance for the in-plane stiffness and strength of CLT shearwalls. The research presented in this paper investigated the in-plane stiffness and strength of CLT shearwalls with different connections for platform-type construction. Finite element analyses were conducted where the CLT panels were modelled as an orthotropic elastic material, and non-linear springs were used for the connections. The hysteretic behaviour of the connections under cyclic loading was calibrated from quasi-static tests; the full model of wall assemblies was calibrated using experimental tests on CLT shearwalls. A parametric study was conducted that evaluated the change of strength and stiffness of walls with the change in a number of connectors. Finally, a capacity-based design procedure is proposed that provides engineers with guidance for designing platform-type CLT buildings. The philosophy of the procedure is to design the CLT buildings such that all non-linear deformations and energy dissipation occurs in designated connections, while all other connections and the CLT panels are designed with sufficient over-strength to remain linear elastic.
Model building codes in the United States limit timber construction to six stories, due to concerns over fire safety and structural performance. With new timber technologies, tall timber buildings are now being planned for construction. The process for building approval for a building constructed above the code height limits with a timber load-bearing structure, is by an alternative engineering means. Engineering solutions are required to be developed to document and prove equivalent performance to a code compliant structure, where approval is based on substantive consultation and documentation. Architects in the US are also pushing the boundaries and requesting load-bearing timber be exposed and not fully encapsulated in fire rated gypsum drywall. This provides an opportunity for the application of recent fire research on exposed timber to be applied, and existing methods of analyzing the impact of fire on engineered timber structures to be developed further. This paper provides an overview of the performance based fire safety engineering required for building approval and also describes the engineering methodologies that can be utilized to address specific exposed load-bearing timber issues; concealed connections for glulam beams; and the methodology to address areas of exposed timber.