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.
This paper presents the seismic design and analysis of a 20-storey demonstration wood building, which was conducted as a part of the NEWBuildS tall wood building design project. A hybrid lateral load resisting system was chosen for the building. The system consisted of shear walls and a shear core, both made of structural composite lumber, connected with dowel-type connections and heavy-duty HSK (wood-steel-composite) system. The core and the shear walls were linked with horizontal steel beams at each floor. The wood-based panel-to-panel interface was designed to be the main energy dissipating mechanism of the system. A detailed finite element model of this building was developed and non-linear time history analyses were performed using 10 earthquake motions. The results showed that the seismic response of the 20-storey demonstration building met the various design criteria and the design details are appropriate.