Most of the timber used in the Australian built environment is presently for low-rise residential construction. This market share is under constant erosion from competitive systems; therefore, entry into non-traditional sectors would benefit the industry through a wider market portfolio of building type applications, and a higher value product system development.
The project analysed building designs in order to estimate the size and value of the market sector in commercial and high-rise residential buildings; established the major building systems used in these sectors, and why these systems are popular (major attractiveness of current systems) and scoped two current timber systems (Cassette Flooring and Access floors) that have the opportunity to increase timber volumes in these markets.
This project has developed technologies for prefabricated structural systems constructed from engineered wood products for floors and building frames, suitable for buildings up to eight stories in height. The project included the design of a virtual multi-storey timber building, a review of commercial flooring systems, and the development of interim design procedures for timber concrete composite (TCC) floors. Compared with either solid concrete or timber floors, TCC floors provide an excellent balance between increased stiffness, reduced weight, better acoustic separation and good thermal mass.
Outcomes from the project have confirmed TCC floors as a viable alternative to conventional flooring systems. The life cycle analysis of the virtual timber building has highlighted the potential advantages of timber-based building systems for commercial applications. The project also resulted in the formation of the Structural Timber Innovation Company, a research company that will continue to develop timber building systems in non-residential buildings in Australia and New Zealand.
In this study market opportunities for treated glue-laminated (glulam) products were investigated in the industrial wood sector. The main benefits of treated glulam are through-product treatment and the ability to manufacture treated products in shapes and sizes that do not fit into common treating chambers. These attributes provide for very durable and large glulam structures that are appropriate for outdoor use. For these reasons bridges, power poles, and sound abatement barriers were investigated. These are markets where wood has lost market share to or is being challenged by concrete and steel substitutes.
The vehicular bridge market was once heavy to the use of wood. Today wood accounts for only 7% of the number bridges in the US and less than 0.9% of the actual surface area of bridges in place. In interviewing municipalities in Canada it is clear that wood is not the preferred material with many wood bridges being replaced by concrete. Further, none of the municipalities contacted were planning wood bridges. However, wood bridges are still being installed. In the US 0.9% of the bridges installed by area in 2007 were wood. This is good news as wood is holding its market share. Steering clear of high volume or large bridges, local bridges are well suited for wood as they are plentiful, small in scale, and many are in disrepair. If 20% of local bridges were built with wood in Canada this would have equalled approximately $51 million in wood bridge construction in 2007.
Municipalities are much more open to the use of wood for pedestrian bridges and overpasses. Their quick construction and aesthetics are positive attributes in this application. One municipality contacted is planning multiple wood pedestrian bridges in the next five years. However, for the purpose of this market review there is little published information on pedestrian bridges.
Noise abatement barriers are a good high-volume technical fit for treated glulam. Increases in traffic and current road infrastructure improvements will lead to more demand for sound abatement in the future. This market is dominated by concrete, but at a very high price. If treated glulam can give adequate durability and sound performance properties it would be approximately 20% cheaper than concrete. The market for sound barriers in Canada could utilize up to 10 mmbf of wood per year to construct 80 km of barrier. This product can also be marketed as a high-performance acoustic fence for residential markets.
Treated glulam was also considered for utility poles. It is transmission grade poles where glulam would best fit the market as the demand is for longer poles which are more difficult to get in solid wood. This type of pole is where wood is currently being displaced by tubular steel. If glulam poles were used in 25% of the replacement transmission poles per year this could equal 8 mmbf. Light poles or standards are another market to consider. While this is a relatively low volume market glulam light standards are a premium product in European markets.
This report was commissioned to review and formulate strategies for the accelerated uptake and social acceptance of living in multi-storey cross-laminated timber (CLT)-constructed buildings in infill developments to: remove cultural barriers, meet the sustainability expectations of potential buyers and obtain a better understanding of how we can facilitate the rapid introduction of this innovative construction technology in Australia.
An extensive review of literature within the field was conducted to gather an overview of the barriers that inhibit consumers, governments and industry in the uptake and acceptance of CLT constructed buildings for infill development. Data was collected on CLT buildings worldwide, to build a comprehensive picture of multi-storey timber buildings using CLT-construction systems.
During the last few years, the merging of timber building tradition with the application of new technologies has produced new prefabricated building systems in Europe and North America. Mid-rise buildings present a unique opportunity to apply new timber technologies. Chile has shown sustained growth of buildings construction during the past decades but little further development in the use of wood. To establish the feasibility of timber systems applied to the Chilean context this research considered social aspects, technical aspects and local standards related to the manufacture and construction using timber components. A project proposal is used to analyze the architectural applications of timber systems according to the Chilean context. The design considers the case of densification in the city of Santiago and investigates the possibility of developing mid-rise structures using the structural properties and features of timber systems. So far only two systems applied to mid-rise structures have been tested for seismic resistance on full scale prototypes: Midply and Cross Laminated Timber. Both systems are suitable for the Chilean context despite their different features. However, it is essential to modify the Chilean Structural Code in order to properly incorporate the seismic performance of timber structures. Also, further research is needed on the application of softwoods and local construction techniques are required for timber panel systems in order to change the negative perception of users about timber housing. The Chilean context has interesting design opportunities to develop buildings that use prefabricated timber panel systems. These structures are flexible, light and have shear high-resistance. However, it is necessary further exploration on architectural possibilities that could expand the use of these alternatives.
Prefabricated engineered solid wood panel construction systems can sequester and store CO2. Modular cross-laminated timber (CLT, also called cross-lam) panels form the basis of low-carbon, engineered construction systems using solid wood panels that can be used to build residential infill developments of 10 storeys or higher. Multi-apartment buildings of 4 to 10 storeys constructed entirely in timber, such as recently in Europe, are innovative, but their social and cultural acceptance in Australia and North America is at this stage still uncertain. Future commercial utilisation is only possible if there is a user acceptance. The author is part of a research team that aims to study two problems: first models of urban infill; then focus on how the use of the CLT systems can play an important role in facilitating a more livable city with better models of infill housing. Wood is an important contemporary building resource due to its low embodied energy and unique attributes. The potential of prefabricated engineered solid wood panel systems, such as CLT, as a sustainable building material and system is only just being realised around the globe. Since timber is one of the few materials that has the capacity to store carbon in large quantities over a long period of time, solid wood panel construction offers the opportunity of carbon engineering, to turn buildings into ‘carbon sinks’. Thus some of the historically negative environmental impact of urban development and construction can be turned around with CLT construction on brownfield sites.
European experience shows that Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) can be competitive in mid-rise and high-rise buildings. Although this system has not been used to the same extent so far in North America, it can be viable wood structural solution for the shift towards sustainable densification of urban and suburban centers. For these reasons FPInnovations has undertaken a multi-disciplinary project on determining the performance of a typical CLT construction, including quantifying the seismic resistance and force modification factors for CLT buildings in Canada and the US.
In this report, a performance-based seismic design (PBSD) of a CLT building was conducted and the seismic response of the CLT building was compared to that of a wood-frame structure tested during the NEESWood project. A suitable force modification factors (R-factors) for CLT mid-rise buildings with different fasteners were recommended for seismic design in Canada and the US. The six-storey NEESWood Capstone building was redesigned as a CLT building using the PBSD procedure developed during the NEESWood project. The results from the quasi-static tests on CLT walls performed at FPInnovations were used as input information for modeling of the main load resisting elements of the structure, the CLT walls. Once the satisfactory design of the CLT mid-rise structure was established through PBSD, a force-based design was developed with varying R-factors and that design was compared to the PBSD result. In this way, suitable R-factors were calibrated so that they can yield equivalent seismic performance of the CLT building when designed using the traditional force-based design methods.
Based on the results of this study it is recommended that a value of Rd=2.5 and Ro=1.5 can be assigned for structures with symmetrical floor plans according to NBCC. In the US an R=4.5 can be used for symmetrical CLT structures designed according to ASCE7. These values can be assigned provided that the design values for CLT walls considered (and implemented in the material design standards) are similar to the values determined in this study using the kinematics model developed that includes the influence of the hold-downs in the CLT wall resistance. Design of the CLT building with those R-factors using the equivalent static procedures in the US and Canada will result in the CLT building having similar seismic performance to that of the tested wood-frame NEESWood building, which had only minor non-structural damage during a rare earthquake event.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT), a new generation of engineered wood product developed initially in Europe, has been gaining popularity in residential and non-residential applications in several countries. Numerous impressive low- and mid-rise buildings built around the world using CLT showcase the many advantages that this product can offer to the construction sector. This article provides basic information on the various attributes of CLT as a product and as structural system in general, and examples of buildings made of CLT panels. A road map for codes and standards implementation of CLT in North America is included, along with an indication of some of the obstacles that can be expected.
Cross-laminated timber (CLT) is a prefabricated solid engineered wood product made of at least three orthogonally bonded layers of solid-sawn lumber or structural composite lumber that are laminated by gluing of longitudinal and transverse layers with structural adhesives to form a solid rectangular-shaped, straight, and plane timber intended for roof, floor, or wall applications. While this engineered wood product has been used in Europe for over 15 years, the production of CLT and design of CLT structural systems have just begun in North America. For the acceptance of new construction materials or systems in North America, such as CLT, a consensus-based product standard is essential to the designers and regulatory bodies. This paper describes and documents the background information and some key issues that were considered during the development of the ANSI/APA PRG 320 Standard for Performance-Rated Cross Laminated Timber. This standard was developed based on the consensus standard development process of APA-The Engineered Wood Association as a standards developer accredited by the American National Standards lnstitute (ANSI). The CLT stress classes incorporated in this product standard are also discussed. The ANSI/APA PRG 320 standard has been approved by the Structural Committee of the lnternational Code Council (lCC) for the 20'15 lnternational Building Code (lBC).
European Conference on Cross Laminated Timber (CLT)
May 21-22, 2013, Graz, Austria
Solid timber construction (STC) with Cross Laminated Timber (CLT), which was presented for the first time to an international audience of specialists in the context of the concluding conference of the COST Action E5 “Timber frame building systems” in September 2000 , can be definitely regarded as one of the most significant innovations in timber engineering within recent decades. Worldwide sales figures of about 500,000 m3 and a wide area of application, which includes not only modern one-family houses, multi-storey buildings, but also office- and administration buildings, hall systems and bridge structures, prove this statement. However, the motto “everything is possible”, which goes along with this rapid development, and the legitimate concentration on the feasibility in static-constructive terms (ULS, SLS, fire, earthquake, etc.) lead to the problem that interdisciplinary issues are considered insufficiently; this is in the context of multi-storey buildings with questions concerning qualitative building services adapted to this type of construction.
Therefore, the aim of this report can be seen in dealing with these interdisciplinary problems. In concrete terms this means facing them and offering possible solutions in the context of solid timber construction out of Cross Laminated Timber. Due to the local processes on the subject of using Cross Laminated Timber, this report is based on a number of selected and partly completed projects in the Graz (AT) conurbation.