RDH provided design assistance and building enclosure consulting services to Perkins & Will (PW) in the planning and construction of the mass timber balcony mockup erected at the Richmond site. RDH completed regular site visits during the test period to evaluate the performance of the mockup. We also completed moisture monitoring of the mockup to assess the wood moisture characteristics during the test period. The test period key dates were as follows:
Design: Mid-2019 to January 2021
Construction: January to May 2021
Mockup Test Period: March 2021 to March 2022
Moisture Monitoring Period: May 2021 to May 2022 (including weather data)
Deconstruction: March 2022
Beyond RDH’s focus on the building enclosure and specifically the mass timber balcony assemblies, we understand the broader research project goals are as follows:
Evaluate balcony structure and materials for compatibility with timber building structure, considering weight, durability, cost, and ease of construction.
Devise connection details to building structure that adequately accommodates all loads while enabling effective completion of a high-performance building enclosure.
Evaluate constructability, sequencing and opportunities for prefabrication to support the broader goals of efficient and quick completion of the building envelope to protect the building structure.
This field test provides compelling evidence that properly detailed mass timber balconies can provide adequate durability and resistance to wetting from liquid moisture. Design and constructability improvements would be beneficial to allow easier workflow during manufacturing and construction, and improved detailing especially at the perimeter edge.