Timber has been used for building construction for centuries, until the industrial revolution, when it was often replaced by steel and concrete or confined to low-rise housings. In the last thirty years however, thanks to the development of mass timber products and new global interest in sustainability, timber has begun to make a resurgence in the building industry. As building codes and public perception continues to change, the demand for taller and higher-performance timber buildings will only grow. Thus, a need exists for new construction technology appropriate for taller mass timber construction, as well as for fabrication and deconstruction practices that respect wood’s inherent sustainable nature. With this in mind, this research program aims to develop a new hybrid shear connection for mass timber buildings that allows for easy construction, deconstruction, and reuse of the structural elements.
This report includes results of Phase 1, which focused on connections consisting of partially threaded 20M and 24M steel rods bonded into pockets formed in CLT and surrounded by thick crowns of high-strength three-component epoxy-based grout. A total of 168 specimens were designed and fabricated, and push-out shear tests carried out with a displacement-controlled monotonic loading protocol. Strength and stiffness values were assessed and effective failure modes in specimens identified. These latter, along with the recorded load-deformation curves, indicate that it is possible to develop mechanics-based design models and design formulas akin to those already used for typical dowel-type fastener timber connections. Additionally, the specimens were easily fabricated in the lab and quickly fastened to the test jig by means of nuts and washers, suggested such connections have a strong potential for prefabrication, disassembly, and reuse.
This paper presents the results of long-term experiments performed on three timber-concrete composite (TCC) beams. An innovative fabricated steel plate connection system, which consists of screws and steel plates embedded in concrete slabs, was adopted in the TCC beam specimens. The adopted shear connection can provide dry-type connection for TCC beams. Steel plates were embedded in concrete slabs while the concrete slab was constructed in factories. The timber beam and concrete slab can be assembled together using screws at the construction site. In this experimental programme, the beam specimens were subjected to constant loading for 613 days in indoor uncontrolled environments. The influence of long-term loading levels and the number of shear connections on the long-term performance of TCC beams was investigated and discussed. The mid-span deflection, timber strain, and interface relative slip at the positions of both connections and beam-ends were recorded throughout the long-term tests. It was found the long-term deflection of the TCC beam increased by approximately 60% while the long-term loads were doubled. Under the influence of the variable temperature and humidity, the TCC specimens with 8 shear connections showed slighter fluctuations compared with the TCC beam with 6 shear connections. In the 613-day observation period, the maximum deflection increment recorded was 6.56 mm for the specimen with eight shear connections and 20% loading level. A rheological model consisting of two Kelvin bodies was employed to fit the curves of creep coefficients. The final deflections predicted of all specimens at the end of 50-year service life were 2.1~2.7 times the initial deflections caused by the applied loads. All beam specimens showed relative small increments in mid-span deflection, strain and relative slip over time without any degradations, demonstrating the excellent long-term performance of TCC beams using the innovative steel plate connection system, which is also easily fabricated.
A balanced combination of heat flows creates suitable conditions for thermal comfort—a factor contributing to the quality of the internal environment of buildings. The presented analysis of selected thermal-technical parameters is up-to-date and suitable for verifying the parameters of building constructions. The research also applied a methodology for examining the acoustic parameters of structural parts of buildings in laboratory conditions. In this research, selected variant solutions of perimeter walls based on prefab cross laminated timber were investigated in terms of acoustic and thermal-technical properties. The variants structures were investigated in laboratory but also in model conditions. The results of the analyses show significant differences between the theoretical or declared parameters and the values measured in laboratory conditions. The deviations of experimental measurements from the calculated or declared parameters were not as significant for variant B as they were for variant A. These findings show that for these analyzed sandwich structures based on wood, it is not always possible to reliably declare calculated values of thermal-technical and acoustic parameters. It is necessary to thoroughly examine such design variants, which would contribute to the knowledge in this field of research of construction systems based on wood.
International Journal of Design & Nature and Ecodynamics
Technological developments and social trends can create demand for new building functionalities, necessitating the adaptation of existing buildings. This paper presents the development of a modular building structural system that provides for the harmonization between the structural and functional lifespans of a building in order to achieve greater sustainability. The limitations of the existing prefabricated urban buildings with respect to their adaptability are contrasted with the proposed solution. The use of prefabricated engineered materials, such as cross laminated timber (CLT) and CLT-concrete composites, in conjunction with a modular system, reduces any climatic effects. The inherent advantages of incorporating detachable connections allows for the necessary structural adaptability, subsequently harmonizing and elongating the structural and functional lifespans. The resulting sustainable concept, when applied to residential buildings, could serve as a solution to address projections of future urban growth.
This paper presents an innovative and sustainable timber constructive system that could be used as an alternative to traditional emergency housing facilities. The system proposed in this study is composed of prefabricated modular elements that are characterized by limited weight and simple assembly procedures, which represent strategic advantages when it comes facing a strong environmental disaster (e.g. an earthquake). The complete dismantling of structural elements and foundations is granted thanks to specific details and an innovative connection system called X-Mini, capable of replacing traditional anchoring devices (i.e. hold downs and angle brackets) by resisting both shear and tension loads. This constructive system, denoted as Hybrid Timber Frame (HTF), takes advantage of the strong prefabrication, reduced weight of light-frame timber systems, and of the excellent strength properties of the Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels. Specifically, the solid-timber members typically used in the structural elements of light-frame systems are replaced by CLT linear elements. The results of experimental tests and numerical simulations are critically presented and discussed, giving a detailed insight into the performance of the HTF under seismic conditions.
Advanced industrialized construction methods enable complex building components and systems to be built with high precision and quality. This manufacturing technique has an advantage to provide cost-competitive and high energy efficient building components and systems for both retrofits and new construction. This document gives an overview of the use of prefabricated panels in building Net Zero Energy Ready wood-frame multi-unit residential buildings (MURBs) in Edmonton.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a large prefabricated solid engineering plank made of multiple layers of planks glued together and it is primarily used in structures such as the floors, walls, and roofs of buildings. ANSI/APA PRG 320 is the world recognized CLT lumber production standard, and the main raw material of CLT has always been softwood rather than hardwood. However, the bending strength, compressive strength, and shear strength of hardwood CLT lumber are stronger than softwood CLT lumber. The large and underutilized hardwood resources in central and southern Ontario provide a huge resource advantage for the hardwood CLT project. This article uses the Cost-Benefit Assessments model to assess the feasibility of investing in hardwood CLT plants in central and southern Ontario. The results show that the payback period of the hardwood CLT factory is 5 years, and the rate of return on investment of 10 years, 15 years, and 20 years are all-around 11%. This study could strengthen investor confidence and it also identifies the direction for the development of hardwood CLT plants in central and southern Ontario.
Ventilated façades can help to reduce summer building thermal loads and, therefore, energy consumption due to air-conditioning systems thanks to the combined effect of the solar radiation reflection and the natural or forced ventilation into the cavity. The evaluation of ventilated façades behavior and performance is complex and requires a complete thermo-fluid dynamic analysis. In this study, a computational fluid dynamic (CFD) methodology has been developed for the complete assessment of the energy performance of a prefabricated timber–concrete composite ventilated façade module in different operating conditions. Global numerical results are presented as well as local ones in terms of heat flux, air velocity, and temperature inside the façade cavity. The results show the dependency of envelope efficiency on solar radiation, the benefits that natural convection brings on potential energy savings and the importance of designing an optimized façade geometry. The results concerning the façade behavior have been thoroughly compared with International Standards, showing the good accuracy of the model with respect to these well-known procedures. This comparison allowed also to highlight the International Standards procedures limits in evaluating the ventilated façade behavior with the necessary level of detail, with the risk of leading to design faults.
The current study uses knowledge from digital architecture, computer science, engineering informatics, and structural engineering to formulate an algorithmic framework for integrated Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Engineering (CAE) of Integrally-Attached Timber Plate (IATP) structures. The algorithm is designed to take the CAD 3D geometry of an IATP structure as input and automates the construction and analysis of the corresponding CAE model using a macroscopic element, which is an alternative to continuum Finite Element (FE) models. Each component of the macro model is assigned a unique tag that is linked to the relevant geometric and structural parameters. The CAE model integrity is maintained through the use of the common data model (CDM) concept and object-oriented programming. The relevant algorithms are implemented in Rhinoceros 3D using RhinoCommon, a .NET software development kit. Once the CAE macro model is generated, it is introduced to the OpenSees computational platform for structural analysis. The algorithmic framework is demonstrated using two case structures: a prefabricated timber beam with standard geometry and a free-form timber plate arch. The results are verified with measurements from physical experiments and FE models, where the time needed to convert thousands of CAD assemblies to the corresponding CAE models for response simulation is considerably reduced.
Properly designed wooden truss bridges are environmentally compatible construction systems. The sharp decline in the erection of such structures in the past decades can be led back to the great effort needed for design and production. Digital parametric design and automated prefabrication approaches allow for a substantial improvement of the efficiency of design and manufacturing processes. Thus, if combined with a constructive wood protection following traditional building techniques, highly efficient sustainable structures are the result. The present paper describes the conceptual design for a wooden truss bridge drawn up for the overpass of a two-lane street crossing the university campus of one of Vienna’s main universities. The concept includes the greening of the structure as a shading design element. After an introduction, two Austrian traditional wooden bridges representing a good and a bad example for constructive wood protection are presented, and a state of the art of the production of timber trusses and greening building structures is given as well. The third part consists of the explanation of the boundary conditions for the project. Subsequently, in the fourth part, the conceptual design, including the design concept, the digital parametric design, the optimization, and the automated prefabrication concept, as well as the potential greening concept are discussed, followed by a summary and outlook on future research.
Society of Wood Science and Technology International Convention
The application of deconstructable connectors in timber-concrete composite (TCC) floors enables the possibility of disassembly and reuse of timber materials at the end of building’s life. This paper introduces the initial concept of a deconstructable TCC connector comprised of a self-tapping screw embedded in a plug made of rigid polyvinyl chloride and a level adjuster made of silicone rubber. This connection system is versatile and can be applied for prefabrication and in-situ concrete casting of TCC floors in both wet-dry and dry-dry systems. The paper presents the results of preliminary tests on the shear performance of four different configurations of the connector system in T-section glulam-concrete composites. The shear performance is compared to that of a permanent connector made with the same type of self-tapping screw. The failure modes observed are also analyzed to provide technical information for further optimization of the connector in the future.
Tall wood buildings have been at the foreground of innovative building practice in urban contexts for a number of years. From London to Stockholm, from Vancouver to Melbourne timber buildings of up to 20 storeys have been built, are under construction or being considered. This dynamic trend was enabled by developments in the material itself, prefabrication and more flexibility in fire regulations. The low CO2 footprint of wood - often regionally sourced - is another strong argument in its favour. This publication explains the typical construction types such as panel systems, frame and hybrid systems. An international selection of 13 case studies is documented in detail with many specially prepared construction drawings, demonstrating the range of the technology.
Recent interests in adopting sustainable materials and developments in construction technology have created a trend of aiming for greater heights with timber buildings. With the increased height these buildings are subjected to higher level of lateral load demand. A common and efficient way to increase capacity is to use shearwalls, which can resist significant part of the load on the structures. Prefabricated mass timber panels such as those made of Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) can be used to form the shearwalls. But due to relatively low stiffness value of timber it is often difficult to keep the maximum drifts within acceptable limit prescribed by building codes. It becomes necessary to either increase wall sizes to beyond available panel dimensions or use multiple or groups of walls spread over different locations over the floor plan. Both of the options are problematic from the economic and functional point of view. One possible alternative is to adopt a Hybrid system, using Steel Plate Shear Walls (SPSW) with timber moment frames. The SPSW has much higher stiffness and combined with timber frames it can reduce overall building drifts significantly. Frames with prefabricated timber members have considerable lateral load capacity. For structures located in seismic regions the system possesses excellent energy dissipation ability with combination of ductile SPSW and yielding elements within the frames. This paper investigates combination of SPSW with timber frames for seismic applications. Numerical model of the system has been developed to examine the interaction between the frames and shear walls under extreme lateral load conditions. Arrangements of different geometries of frames and shear walls are evaluated to determine their compatibility and efficiency in sharing lateral loads. Recommendations are presented for optimum solutions as well as practical limits of applications.
Steel-timber hybrid structural systems offer a modern solution for building multi-story structures with more environmentally-friendly features. This paper presents a comprehensive seismic performance assessment for a kind of multi-story steel-timber hybrid structure. In such a hybrid structure, steel moment resisting frames are infilled with prefabricated light wood frame shear walls to serve as the lateral load resisting system (LLRS). In this paper, drift-based performance objectives under various seismic hazard levels were proposed based on experimental observations. Then, a numerical model of the hybrid structure considering damage accumulation and stiffness degradation was developed and verified by experimental results, and nonlinear time-history analyses were conducted to establish a database of seismic responses. The numerical results further serve as a technical basis for estimating the structure's fundamental period and evaluating post-yielding behavior and failure probabilities of the hybrid structure under various seismic hazard levels. A load sharing parameter was defined to describe the wall-frame lateral force distribution, and a formula was proposed and calibrated by the time-history analytical results to estimate the load sharing parameter. Moreover, earthquake-induced non-structural damage and residual deformation were also evaluated, showing that if designed properly, desirable seismic performance with acceptable repair effort can be obtained for the proposed steel-timber hybrid structural system.
The Tallwood House project was intended to advance the design and
manufacture of mass timber products in Canada and demonstrate
that mass timber is a viable structural option for mid-rise and
high-rise buildings. The use of mass timber and engineered wood
products in high-rise construction is becoming more common
around the world leading to a growing interest in the performance of
mass timber over time.
This report describes the performance of the mass timber structure
in Tallwood House, between September 2017 and August 2019,
based on measurements of the moisture content in the prefabricated
CLT floor panels and the displacement of the vertical structural
system. It is intended to initiate discussions on the performance of
mass timber structure elements during building occupancy and lead
to further research that can explore the influential factors.