The diaphragmatic behaviour of floors represents one important requirement for earthquake resistant buildings since diaphragms connect the lateral load resisting systems at each floor level and transfer the seismic forces to them as a function of their in-plane stiffness. This paper presents an innovative hybrid timber-steel solution for floor diaphragms developed by coupling cross-laminated timber panels with cold-formed custom-shaped steel beams. The floor consists of prefabricated repeatable units which are fastened on-site using pre-loaded bolts and self-tapping screws, thus ensuring a fast and efficient installation. An experimentally validated numerical model is used to evaluate the influence of the; i) in-plane floor stiffness; ii) aspect ratio and shape of the building plan; and iii) relative stiffness and disposition of the shear walls, on the load distribution to the shear walls. The load transfer into walls and lateral deformation of the construction system primarily depend on the adopted layouts of shear walls, and for most cases an in-plane stiffness of floors two times larger than that of walls is recommended.
Simplified seismic design procedures mostly recommend the adoption of rigid floor diaphragms when forming a building’s lateral force-resisting structural system. While rigid behavior is compatible with many reinforced concrete or composite steel-concrete floor systems, the intrinsic stiffness properties of wood and ductile timber connections of timber floor slabs typically make reaching a such comparable in-plane response difficult. Codes or standards in North America widely cover wood-frame construction, with provisions given for both rigid and flexible floor diaphragms designs. Instead, research is ongoing for emerging cross-laminated-timber (CLT) and hybrid CLT-based technologies, with seismic design codification still currently limited. This paper deals with a steel-CLT-based hybrid structure built by assembling braced steel frames with CLT-steel composite floors. Preliminary investigation on the performance of a 3-story building under seismic loads is presented, with particular attention to the influence of in-plane timber diaphragms flexibility on the force distribution and lateral deformation at each story. The building complies with the Italian Building Code damage limit state and ultimate limit state design requirements by considering a moderate seismic hazard scenario. Nonlinear static analyses are performed adopting a finite-element model calibrated based on experimental data. The CLT-steel composite floor in-plane deformability shows mitigated effects on the load distribution into the bracing systems compared to the ideal rigid behavior. On the other hand, the lateral deformation always rises at least 17% and 21% on average, independently of the story and load distribution along the building’s height.
This paper presents a numerical and analytical study on single-storey cross-laminated timber (CLT) shear-walls with openings subjected to lateral loads. The main objective was to investigate the location and distribution of maximum values of axial and shear forces in relevant wall sections. The influence of parameters such as wall geometry (different sizes of wall openings, door openings, lintel/parapet lengths and heights, wall thickness) and different stiffness levels of mechanical anchors for CLT wall connection with floor/foundation were studied. Finite element (FE) parametric analyses were performed on a set of single-storey CLT shear-walls with door and window openings and were compared with analytical models for determination of internal forces. The importance of wall connections’ flexibility was identified, as the distribution of internal forces in walls with rigid and flexible anchors were considerably different. The obtained outcomes of this study provide a solid base for the next step, an experimental investigation of in-plane internal force distribution in CLT walls with openings, which will serve for further development of numerical, analytical and design approaches.
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) and Light Timber Frame (LTF) shear walls are widespread constructive technologies in timber engineering. Despite the intrinsic differences, the lateral response of the two structural systems may be quite similar under specific connection layouts, boundary constraints, and size of the shear walls. This paper compares the experimental cyclic responses of CLT and LTF shear walls characterized by the same size 250×250cm, and loaded according to the EN 12512 protocol. The rigid-body rotation of the shear walls prevails over the deformation and rigid-body translation in the post-elastic displacement range. As a consequence, a capacity model of the two systems based on the sole hold-down response accurately seizes the observed cyclic response, despite ignoring the other resisting contributions. The authors examine the differences exhibited by the CLT and LTF shear walls and the related error corresponding to a capacity model based on the sole hold down restraints. Additionally, it is assessed the overstrength of the CLT panel and LTF sheathing to the shear walls collapse due to the hold-down failure. The estimated overstrength factor is the most meaningful difference between the two structural systems in the considered experimental layouts.