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Engineered Timber Case Studies

The development of EWPs has enabled structural building elements to be constructed and achieve a similar performance to traditional RC. EWPs have also been applied in medium and high-rise construction. The Forte building in Docklands, Melbourne, Australia was completed in 2012. It was a 10-storey CLT apartment and was the world tallest timber residential building until 2016. The timber structure weighted 485 toimes, connected with 5,500 angle brackets using 34,550 screws. Ground and first floor slab were constructed from geopolymer concrete due to the larger spans required in the retail space and as well as wet and termite resistance purposes. Prefabricated CLT panels were shipped from Europe and transported to the construction site, craned into positions and then screwed together. By using the platform-frame system, each floor was set on the walls below and then another storey of walls was raised, and so on up the building (Durlinger et al., 2013).

The International House Sydney at Barangaroo showcased the possibility of long span mass timber floor and exposed mass timber system. The project was completed in 2017 and was the first 6-storey exposed engineered timber commercial/office building in Australia. Notably, all six levels above the concrete retail ground floor are engineered timber. The office building, completed in late 2018 in Brisbane, was the world tallest and largest mass timber building, with a six by eight-metre grid of exposed glulam columns with CLT cladding and CLT flooring system.

In Canada, the UBC Brock Common building, completed in 2016, is currently the tallest mass timber building for student accommodation at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. It is an 18-story' building, in which 17 storeys are mass timber structures. It took only ten weeks to complete the mass- timber levels. The building has a flooring system with no less than 2 hours of fire-resistance rating and a sprinkler system throughout. The structural system of the building is a hybrid configuration of concrete podium and cores, CLT/LYL columns and floors, and a steel roof system. Results of life cycle analysis from cradle to gate showed that the use of mass timber instead of concrete has a positive impact on the environment. For instance, compared to the original concrete building, mass timber design has negative global warming potential due to the possibility of carbon sequestration in mass timber, even beyond the building lifetime (Connolly et al., 2018).

The use of EWPs has also been considered for buildings in seismic regions. The NMIT Aits and Media Building in Nelson, New Zealand, completed in 2011, demonstrated that timber could be successfiilly used in multi-storey commercial buildings. The building utilised LYL for many structural components, including columns, beams, floor systems and shear walls. Its shear walls were designed to resist lateral load, especially seismic load. The system relies on coupled pans of LVL shear walls, incorporating high strength post-tensioned steel tendons. Hie shear walls are centrally fixed so that they can rock during a seismic event: a series of U-shaped steel plates placed between the walls form a coupling mechanism and act as dissipaters to absorb seismic energy. This allows the primary structure to remain essentially undamaged while these replaceable connections act as plastic fuses. LVL has strength properties that allow fabrication of beams, columns and walls at dimensions similar to concrete and steel design. Spanning 9.6 m, the primary LVL floor beams provide a large open floor plate, comparable to traditional commercial structures (John et al., 2011).

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