Project contact is Peter Dusicka at Portland State University
The urgency in increasing growth in densely populated urban areas, reducing the carbon footprint of new buildings, and targeting rapid return to occupancy following disastrous earthquakes has created a need to reexamine the structural systems of mid- to high-rise buildings. To address these sustainability and seismic resiliency needs, the objective of this research is to enable an all-timber material system in a way that will include architectural as well as structural considerations. Utilization of mass timber is societally important in providing buildings that store, instead of generate, carbon and increase the economic opportunity for depressed timber-producing regions of the country. This research will focus on buildings with core walls because those building types are some of the most common for contemporary urban mid- to high-rise construction. The open floor layout will allow for commercial and mixed-use occupancies, but also will contain significant technical knowledge gaps hindering their implementation with mass timber. The research plan has been formulated to fill these gaps by: (1) developing suitable mid- to high-rise archetypes with input from multiple stakeholders, (2) conducting parametric system-level seismic performance investigations, (3) developing new critical components, (4) validating the performance with large-scale experimentation, and (5) bridging the industry information gaps by incorporating teaching modules within an existing educational and outreach framework. Situated in the heart of a timber-producing region, the multi-disciplinary team will utilize the local design professional community with timber experience and Portland State University's recently implemented Green Building Scholars program to deliver technical outcomes that directly impact the surrounding environment.
Research outcomes will advance knowledge at the system performance level as well as at the critical component level. The investigated building system will incorporate cross laminated timber cores, floors, and glulam structural members. Using mass timber will present challenges in effectively achieving the goal of desirable seismic performance, especially seismic resiliency. These challenges will be addressed at the system level by a unique combination of core rocking combined with beam and floor interaction to achieve non-linear elastic behavior. This system behavior will eliminate the need for post-tensioning to achieve re-centering, but will introduce new parameters that can directly influence the lateral behavior. This research will study the effects of these parameters on the overall building behavior and will develop a methodology in which designers could use these parameters to strategically control the building seismic response. These key parameters will be investigated using parametric numerical analyses as well as large-scale, sub-system experimentation. One of the critical components of the system will be the hold-down, a device that connects the timber core to the foundation and provides hysteretic energy dissipation. Strength requirements and deformation demands in mid- to high-rise buildings, along with integration with mass timber, will necessitate the advancement of knowledge in developing this low-damage component. The investigated hold-down will have large deformation capability with readily replaceable parts. Moreover, the hold-down will have the potential to reduce strength of the component in a controlled and repeatable way at large deformations, while maintaining original strength at low deformations. This component characteristic can reduce the overall system overstrength, which in turn will have beneficial economic implications. Reducing the carbon footprint of new construction, linking rural and urban economies, and increasing the longevity of buildings in seismic zones are all goals that this mass timber research will advance and will be critical to the sustainable development of cities moving forward.
Project contacts are Frederico França at Mississippi State University and Robert J. Ross at the Forest Products Laboratory
With the rapid development of CLT manufacturing capacity around the world and the increasing architectural acceptance and adoption, there is a current and pressing need regarding adhesive bond quality assurance in manufacturing. As with other engineered glued composites, adhesive bondline performance is critically important. Bondline assessment requires technology in the form of sensors, ultrasonics, load cells, or other means of reliable machine evaluation.
The objectives of this cooperative study are to develop quality assurance procedures for monitoring the quality of mass timber and CLT during and after manufacturing and to develop assessment techniques for CLT panels in-service.
Auburn University’s (AU) School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences (SFWS) in Alabama actively works to increase awareness of the benefits of CLT along with hybrid systems for more widespread adoption in multiple building segments. AU’s two-year project proposal outlines a plan that will establish a preliminary design for the usage of a timber-steel composite system, utilizing CLT or laminated veneer lumber (LVL), as an option that will replace reinforced concrete slabs to improve the structural performance for buildings six stories or more.
Project contact is Kadir Sener at Auburn University
While the emphasis in the timber industry understandably focuses predominately
on complete mass timber structures, opportunities to substantially expand the mass timber
market exist using composite timber-steel systems. Timber-steel composite systems have a
high potential to be an economically, architecturally, and structurally feasible system to
expand the usage of timber panels for mid-rise and high-rise structures where mass timber is
currently not a feasible option. In this novel system, prefabricated timber panels replace
reinforced concrete slabs to provide the floor and diaphragm elements that work compositely
with steel beams and to improve the structural performance compared to either individual
material. Considerable testing effort outside the US has explored the feasibility and benefits
of these composite systems. This has led to implementation of this novel system on a number
of international construction projects. However, the topic has not been assimilated by
researchers and practitioners in the US. Hence, this proposal focuses on identifying and
removing barriers and providing design guidance on using steel-timber composite systems in
US construction. The proposal: (i) Engages a diverse body of stakeholders in an advisory panel
and workshop, (ii) Completes engineering-based testing and analysis to demonstrate
feasibility, (iii) Performs constructability studies (i.e., construction cost, speed, env. impact),
and (iv) Establishes preliminary design guidelines and approaches. The goal of the project will
be to demonstrate the performance and economy of a timber-steel composite system(s) and
establish preliminary design guidelines and approaches for target stakeholders. Ultimately,
the project will develop experimentally validated design-detailing configurations and
establish design specifications for new mass timber markets in multiple construction sectors.
Project contact is Keri Ryan at University of Nevada, Reno
A landmark shake table test of a 10-story mass timber building will be conducted in late 2020. The test program, funded by other sources, will help accelerate the adoption of economically competitive tall timber buildings by validating the seismic performance of a resilient cross-laminated timber (CLT) rocking wall system. In this project, we leverage and extend the test program by including critical nonstructural components and systems (NCS). Including NCSs, which are most vulnerable to rocking induced deformations of the CLT core, allows investigation of the ramification of this emerging structural type on building resiliency. Quantifying interactions amongst vertically and horizontally spanning NCSs during earthquake shaking will allow designers to develop rational design strategies for future installation of such systems. The expected research outcomes are to expand knowledge of rocking wall system interactions with various NCS, identify NCS vulnerabilities in tall timber buildings, and develop solutions to address these vulnerabilities. Moreover, this effort will greatly increase visibility of the test program. The results of this research will be widely disseminated to timber design and NCS communities through conference presentations, online webinars, and distribution to publicly accessible research repositories.
Project contact is Daniel Dowden at Michigan Technological University
This award will investigate a low-damage solution for cross-laminated timber (CLT) seismic force-resisting systems (SFRSs) using a novel uplift friction damper (UFD) device for seismically resilient mass-timber buildings. The UFD device will embrace the natural rocking wall behavior that is expected in tall CLT buildings, provide stable energy dissipation, and exhibit self-centering characteristics. Structural repair of buildings with these devices is expected to be minimal after a design level earthquake. Although CLT has emerged as a construction material that has revitalized the timber industry, there exists a lack of CLT-specific seismic energy dissipation devices that can integrate holistically with the natural kinematics of CLT-based SFRSs. CLT wall panels themselves do not provide any measurable seismic energy dissipation. As a payload to the large-scale, ten-story CLT building specimen to be tested on the Natural Hazards Engineering Research Infrastructure (NHERI) shake table at the University of California, San Diego, as part of NSF award 1636164, “Collaborative Research: A Resilience-based Seismic Design Methodology for Tall Wood Buildings,” this project will conduct a series of tests with the UFD devices installed on the CLT building specimen. These tests will bridge analytical and numerical models with the high fidelity test data collected with realistic boundary and earthquake loading conditions. The calibrated models will be incorporated in a probabilistic numerical framework to establish a design methodology for seismically resilient tall wood buildings, leading to a more diverse and eco-sustainable urban landscape. This project will provide local elementary school outreach activities, integrate participation of undergraduate minorities and underrepresented groups into the research activities, and foster graduate level curriculum innovations. Project data will be archived and made available publicly in the NSF-supported NHERI Data Depot (https://www.DesignSafe-CI.org). This award contributes to NSF's role in the National Earthquake Hazards Reduction Program (NEHRP).
The research objectives of this payload project are to: 1) bridge the fundamental mechanistic UFD models linking analytical and numerical models necessary for seismic response prediction of seismically resilient CLT-based SFRSs, 2) characterize the fundamental dynamic UFD behavior with validation and calibration through large-scale tests with realistic boundary conditions and earthquake loadings, and 3) integrate low-damage, friction-based damping system alternatives within a resilience-based seismic design methodology for tall wood buildings. To achieve these objectives, the test data collected will provide a critical pathway to reliably establish numerical and analytical models that extend the shake table test results to a broad range of archetype buildings. The seismic performance of mass-timber archetype building systems will be established through collapse risk assessment using incremental dynamic analyses. This will provide a first step in the longer term goal of establishing code-based seismic performance factors for CLT-based SFRSs.
Project contact is Hongmei Gu at the Forest Products Laboratory
The FPL team is in charge of developing a full comparative LCA study for three multiple-story mass timber buildings and their concrete alternatives in the U.S. Northeast region, with Boston as the point location. Using these three comparative LCAs, this research will determine the GHG emissions reduction potential from mass timber use in the building sector for the U.S. region. This may increase potential for growth in wood utilization, timber harvest, and forest management practices through the market demands.
Project contact is Thomas Miller at Oregon State University
Understanding how roof and floor systems (commonly called diaphragms by engineers) that are built from Pacific Northwest-sourced cross-laminated timber (CLT) panels perform in earthquake prone areas is a critical area of research. These building components are key to transferring normal and extreme event forces into walls and down to the foundation. The tests performed in this project will provide data on commonly used approaches to connecting CLT panels within a floor or roof space and the performance of associated screw fasteners. Structural engineers will directly benefit through improved modeling tools. A broader benefit may be increased confidence in the construction of taller wood buildings in communities at greater risk for earthquakes.
Opening new markets for the use of CLT that can capitalize on the strength and speed of construction allowed by the technology creates the best opportunity for wood product market growth. One such market is the Department of Defense (DoD), representing an estimated 148 million board feet of additional lumber production. Wood products have been significantly under-represented in the DoD construction market because of their perceived performance in blast conditions. The objectives of this project are to develop a design methodology and to demonstrate performance for exterior bearing CLT walls used in buildings subject to force protection requirements. This methodology should be published by U.S. Army Corp of Engineers – Protective Design Center to be used by engineers for designing CLT elements to withstand blast loads as determined by code requirements and specific project conditions.
Project contacts are Xiping Wang at the Forest Products Laboratory, and Xinfeng Xie at Michigan Technological University
This project is expected to reveal if cross-laminated mixed hardwood and softwood species would have bonding properties similar to softwood CLT using commercial adhesives for timber laminating. The results will provide baseline data on adhesion properties of bonding mixed northern wood species.
Project contact is Chris Pantelides at the University of Utah
A mass timber buckling-restrained braced frame is proposed to enhance the seismic resilience of mass timber buildings. Constructed using wood generated from the national forest system, the mass timber buckling-restrained brace will be integrated with a mass timber frame for structural energy dissipation under seismic or wind loads. The team will improve and optimize the design of structural components based on feedback from a real-time health monitoring system. Outcomes include guidelines for a lateral force resisting system of mass timber buildings in high seismic or wind regions.
Sustainable Northwest (SNW) and Hacienda Community Development Group (HCDC), both based in Oregon, have proposed a plan to demonstrate pathways for building affordable housing with regionally sourced mass timber. In response to the region’s housing shortage, the partners’ proposal demonstrates the use of mass timber products while supporting efforts to educate stakeholders on wood product companies and forest restoration. The project outlines a plan to explore financing options, build one or more prototypes, and perform a structural material life cycle analysis.
Project contact is Paulo Tabares at the Colorado School of Mines
Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) is a mass timber material that has the potential to expand the wood building market in the U.S. However, new sustainable building technologies need extensive field and numerical validation quantifying environmental and economic benefits of using CLT as a sustainable building material so it can be broadly adopted in the building community. These benefits will also be projected nationwide across the United States once state-of-the-art software is validated and will include showcasing and documenting synergies between multiple technologies in the building envelope and heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. However, there are no such studies for CLT. The objective of this project is to quantify and showcase environmental and economic benefits of CLT as a sustainable building material in actual (and simulated) commercial buildings across the entire United States by doing: (1) on-site monitoring of at least four CLT buildings, (2) whole building energy model validation, (3) optimization of the performance and design for CLT buildings and (4) comparison with traditional building envelopes. This knowledge gap needs to be filled to position CLT on competitive grounds with steel and concrete and is the motivation for this study.
Project contact is Christopher Higgins at Oregon State University
This project will optimize the strength, stiffness, vibration characteristics, acoustic qualities and fire resistance of cross-laminated floor systems utilizing a composite concrete and cross-laminated timber product. This project includes development, testing and optimization of an economical shear connector (to connect the CLT panel to the concrete slab) that will be compared with existing screw and steel plate solutions. The resulting prototype floor system will be tested at full scale.
In many mass timber buildings, CLT or nail laminated timber (NLT) floors are designed with a concrete topping to improve acoustic separation, reduce vibration or act as a fire barrier. Little research has examined the fire behavior of these floor systems, but some preliminary tests involving LVL show that they may be able to meet three-hour fire resistance ratings, which could potentially open up the use of mass timber in Type I buildings, representing a large market opportunity. This project will test the behavior of composite floors under fire loading conditions considering the following parameters: shear connector type, mass timber panel types and thicknesses and concrete thicknesses. It will also test and validate an innovative fire research methodology using radiant panels.
Michigan State University (MSU) will develop a construction time and cost estimating tool for the use of cross laminated timber (CLT) in commercial building construction. This responds to a significant barrier to adopting such buildings among the architecture, engineering, and construction (AEC) industry, which has been reported since 2014. Despite broad agreement that first costs (and by extension time) and life cycle costs are an important facet of CLT buildings, over one third of architects were uncertain about this topic. Nine out of ten architects also listed costs and cost information as a significant barrier. This project will expand wood products markets by addressing this significant AEC industry barrier, and as a result, encourage more designers and constructors to specify CLT in their buildings. The project includes the development of a web-based predictive cost and time tool; this is quite common during the conceptual design stage, and as such, these tools exist for steels and concrete buildings, yet very little information exists for CLT. The team will also develop up to 20 CLT building case studies, with a focus on as-built costs, life cycle costs (building maintenance, energy, and carbon), construction time, and green building certification. These cases will be used to develop continuing education training modules for designers and constructors. Finally, in an attempt to motivate current students to become more knowledgeable about CLT, MSU will sponsor a 4- and 2-year CLT construction management competition. We expect these efforts to reach over 300 designers and constructors, and up to 75 AEC students.
Prior research showed that inward moisture diffusion from absorptive claddings such as brick veneer, stucco, or manufactured stone veneer can be significant in wood-frame walls. The inward migration of moisture is greatest when the cladding is heated by the sun after being wetted by rain. The same phenomenon is likely to occur in CLT walls with these types of claddings (Fig. 1). General guidance on CLT building envelope design was published in chapter 10 of the U.S. CLT Handbook, which cautions that inward diffusion of moisture from absorptive claddings could lead to moisture accumulation in CLT based on initial computer modeling predictions. Experimental measurements are needed to provide a stronger basis for design of CLT exterior walls.
The objectives of the project are to measure moisture conditions in CLT walls with absorptive claddings under exposure to simulated rain and sun and to identify design and construction practices that minimize the risk of moisture accumulation in different U.S. climates.
Contact: C. Elizabeth Stokes, Mississippi State University, Juliet Tang, Forest Products Laboratory
Outcomes anticipated from the results of this project are biodegradation information for CLT products and an improved understanding of biodegradation differences between CLT products and comparable laminated and solid wood products. Results will benefit the emerging CLT industry and provide valuable information for market expansion into areas with high termite pressure.
Project contact is Arijit Sinha at Oregon State University
Constructing buildings with CLT requires development of novel panel attachment methods and mechanisms. Architects and engineers need to know the engineering strength properties of connected panels, especially in an earthquake prone area. This project will improve knowledge of three types of wall panel connections: wall-to-floor, wall-to-wall, and wall-to-foundation. Testing will determine the strength properties of metal connectors applied with diffferent types and sizes of screw fasteners. The data will be used to develop a modeling tool that engineers can use when designing multi-story buildings to be constructed with CLT panels.
Karagozian & Case (K&C), a science and engineering firm based in California, is seeking to develop and execute a two-phase testing program to demonstrate the blast-resistance capability of cross laminated timber (CLT). K&C’s proposal outlines a plan that will use full-size reinforced CLT panels to demonstrate that panels are capable of resisting severe blast, ballistic, and forced entry threats while still maintaining their bond line integrity under both quasi-static and dynamic loading conditions. If the proposed effort is successful, blast testing on reinforced CLT panels will be pursued in a follow-on second phase.