Discovery Grants Program - Individual
Contact: Dr. Alexander Salenikovich
During the last few years, multi-storey timber construction has been promoted by the wood industry and by the governments in Canada and in other countries with abundant forest resources. This trend has been justified for the ecological reasons (reduced environmental footprint, sustainability), architectural attractiveness (aesthetics, health, comfort) and development of new engineered wood products, such as mass timber panels, suitable for construction of mid-rise and tall buildings. Because of their light weight, timber structures may take advantage when used to resist seismic forces. However, to turn the multi-storey timber construction into the main stream, efficient and cost effective structural systems should be developed and specific guidance included into the design codes.
The structural performance of timber systems primarily depends on the performance characteristics of the connections resisting lateral loads (wind and seismic), which are not well studied and are not sufficiently covered in the design codes. The efficient structural connections in multi-storey buildings should provide enough stiffness to resist high winds and enough resiliency to resist severe earthquakes with the minimum damage of the structure. However, there is not a unified approach to the evaluation of the connection properties, and the design resistance values are not based on reliability principles. The design guidance for the connections of new engineered wood products, such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), is rudimentary and is not satisfying the needs of the designers. These drawbacks reduce the efficiency of the design solutions, slow down the design process and discourage the use of wood in multi-storey buildings.
The main goal of the proposed research program is to develop efficient connections and methods of their characterization meeting the needs of multi-storey timber construction. Particular attention will be given to the connections for the lateral load resisting systems in mass timber buildings advancing the reliability principles and the low damage seismic design philosophy. The performance characteristics of the connections will be evaluated experimentally to model their hysteretic behaviour, which then will be integrated into the design models of the whole structures and validated via laboratory tests.
This research program will contribute to the development of the design principles of timber structures for multi-storey buildings enabling the designers to choose the most effective and reliable solutions at a lower cost. Implementation of these results in the design codes will increase the competitiveness and the use of timber in the mid-rise and tall building construction in Canada. In turn, this will benefit the Canadian wood industry and, therefore, the Canadian economy and society by contributing to the development of the sustainable future.