A new type of mass timber structural system has been developed in New Zealand over the last decade. Timber members made of engineered wood products are used in combination with post-tensioning cables to produce highly efficient structural components suitable for multi-story moment resisting frames or shear wall-based lateral load resisting systems. Both systems are particularly useful in structures designed in high seismic regions. The post-tensioning also ensures self-centering of the components and the structural systems after a seismic event. In addition to the post-tensioning, the systems can use energy dissipating devices within the connections that further enhance the ductility of the systems and make them good candidates for low damage structural applications. Extensive experimental and numerical studies have been conducted to determine the performance of these systems and design procedures have been developed for practical applications. In an effort to bring this system closer to the North American designers, this paper contains a summary of the evolution of the concept and the most important research projects and findings to date. In addition, a number of applications within and outside New Zealand are reviewed to demonstrate the applicability of the concept. Finally, potential and recent initiatives for adoption of the technology in North America are discussed.
April 3-5, 2014, Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is widely perceived as the most promising option for building high-rise wood structures due to its structural robustness and good fire resistance. While gravity load design of a tall CLT building is relatively easy to address because all CLT walls can be utilized as bearing walls, design for significant lateral loads (earthquake and wind) can be challenging due to the lack of ductility in current CLT construction methods that utilize wall panels with low aspect ratios (height to length). Keeping the wall panels at high aspect ratios can provide a more ductile response, but it will inevitably increase the material and labor costs associated with the structure. In this study, a solution to this dilemma is proposed by introducing damping and elastic restoring devices in a multi-story CLT building to achieve ductile response, while keeping the integrity of low aspect ratio walls to reduce the cost of construction and improve fire resistance. The design methodology for incorporating the response modification devices is proposed and the performance of the as-designed structure under seismic is evaluated.
Timber-Concrete Composite (TCC) systems have been employed as an efficient solution in medium span structural applications; their use remains largely confined to European countries. TCC systems are generally comprised of a timber and concrete element with a shear connection between. A large number of precedents for T-beam configurations exist; however, the growing availability of flat plate engineered wood products (EWPs) in North America has offered designers greater versatility in terms of floor plans and architectural expression in modern timber and hybrid structures. The opportunity exists to enhance the strength, stiffness, fire, and vibration performance of floors using these products by introducing a concrete topping, connected to the timber to form a composite. A research program at the University of British Columbia Vancouver investigates the performance of five different connector types (a post-installed screw system, cast-in screws, glued-in steel mesh, adhesive bonded, and mechanical interlocking) in three different EWPs (Cross-Laminated-Timber, Laminated-Veneer-Lumber, and Laminated-Strand-Lumber). Over 200 mid-scale push-out tests were performed in the first stage of experimental work to evaluate the connector performance and to optimize the design of subsequent vibration and bending testing of full-scale specimens, including specimens subjected to long-term loading.