This thesis fills the existing knowledge gap between detailed design and global behaviour of hybrid systems through an experimental study on an innovative timber-steel hybrid system called “FFTT”. The FFTT system relies on wall panels of mass timber such as CLT for gravity and lateral load resistance and embedded steel sections for ductility under the earthquake loads. An important step towards the practical application of the FFTT system is obtaining the proof that the connections facilitate the desired ductile failure mode. The experimental investigation was carried out at the facility of FPInnovations, Vancouver. The testing program consisted of quasi-static monotonic and reverse cyclic tests on the timber-steel hybrid system with different configurations. The two beam profiles, wide flange I-sections and hollow rectangular sections were tested. The interaction between the steel beams and CLT panels and the effect of the embedment depth, cross-section reduction and embedment length were closely examined. The study demonstrated that when using an appropriate steel section, the desired ‘Strong Column–Weak Beam’ failure mechanism was initiated and excessive wood crushing was avoided. While wide-flange I-sections were stiffer and stronger, the hollow sections displayed better post-yield behaviour with higher energy dissipation capacity through several cycles of deformation under cyclic loads. The out-of-plane buckling at the point of yielding was the major setback of the embedment of wide-flange I-sections. This research served as a precursor for providing design guidance for the FFTT system as one option for tall wood buildings in high seismic regions.
The risk posed to a structure from an earthquake may be minimized by changing the design characteristics of the structure to determine the optimal design. A risk measure, the mean value of the cost functions in this thesis, can be determined using reliability methods to construct a loss curve. This formulation includes the effect of uncertainty in all aspects of the cost, including construction and repair given an event. This risk model also requires no prior information to determine the mean cost and does not define a discrete “failure,” instead using a continuum of possible outcomes in determining the mean of the cost functions. The optimization model allows for different search directions and step sizes in the search for the minimum cost, with steepest descent and BFGS search directions currently implemented. These analyses are performed using the Rts software, which has the capability of performing the optimization, risk, and reliability analyses on input structural models.
Recent developments in novel engineered mass timber products and connection systems have created the possibility to design and construct tall timber-based buildings. This research presents the experiments conducted on the steel-wood connection as main energy dissipating part of a novel steel–timber hybrid system labelled Finding the Forest Through the Trees (FFTT). The performance was investigated using quasi-static monotonic and reversed cyclic tests. The influence of different steel beam profiles (wide flange I-sections and hollow rectangular sections), and the embedment approaches (partial and full embedment) was investigated. The test results demonstrated that appropriate connection layouts can lead to the desired failure mechanism while avoiding excessive crushing of the mass timber panels. The research can serve as a precursos for developing design guidelines for the FFTT systems as an option for tall wood-hybrid building systems in seismic regions.