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.
This study illustrates the range of possible wood construction approaches for school buildings that are up to four storeys in height. As land values continue to rise, particularly in higher-density urban environments, schools with smaller footprints will become increasingly more necessary to satisfy enrollment demands. There are currently a number of planned new school projects throughout British Columbia that anticipate requiring either three-or four-storey buildings, and it is forecasted that the demand for school buildings of this size will continue to rise.
This study is closely related to the report Risk Analysis and Alternative Solution for Three- and Four-Storey Schools of Mass Timber and/or Wood-Frame Construction prepared by GHL Consultants, which explores the building code related considerations of wood construction for school buildings that are up to four storeys in height. Though wood construction offers a viable structural material option for these buildings, the British Columbia Building Code (BCBC 2018) currently limits schools comprised of wood construction to a maximum of two storeys, while also imposing limits on the overall floor area. As such, the reader is referred to the GHL report for further information regarding building code compliance (with a particular emphasis on fire protection) for wood school buildings.
The purpose of the study is to evaluate and summarize any technical or other impediments to using hem-fir in mass timber products. The different mass timber products included in the study are cross-laminated timber (CLT), glue-laminated timber (glulam), dowel-laminated timber (DLT) and nail-laminated timber (NLT).