The Large Wood Structures Symposium, held on February 20th at the Vancouver Convention Centre, started with a seminar entitled “Research to Help Push the Limit of Use of Mass Timber in Canada.”
Presented by NewBuildS! Scientific director Dr. Ying Hei Chui, the seminar delved into the many ways research is being implemented to tackle large wood builds.
Chui pointed out that in 1941, the national building code did not allow for wood structures above four storeys. Some European countries based their code on performance and not on arbitrary storey requirements, but Canada’s building code remained fixed on hard limits for wood structures.
Government is conducting a research program via the NRC construction portfolio to study the feasibility of large wood structures. But in the realm of industry-led research, a project to study mid-rise wood buildings is well underway.
FPInnovations has an Advanced Building Systems Program focusing on CLT (heavy timber.) Their program also touches on fire durability and sustainability.
Structures covered by the program include light frame, post and beam, CLT and hybrid.
Planned activities for 2013-2014 include a focus on sustainability, as well as studying building envelopes and creating a set of energy efficient building enclosure design guidelines.