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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Feasibility study of using Cross-Laminated Timber core for the UBC Tall Wood Building Moudgil, Manu


Mass-timber has gained popularity in the construction of mid-rise buildings in the last decade. The innovation of constructing tall buildings with mass-timber can be seen in the student residence at Brock Commons built in 2016 at the University of British Columbia. It is the world’s tallest timber hybrid building with 18 stories and 53 meters’ height above the ground level. The building has 17 stories of mass-timber superstructure resting on a concrete podium with two concrete cores that act as a lateral force resisting system for earthquake and wind forces. The mass-timber superstructure of 17 stories took ten weeks whereas the concrete cores were built in fourteen weeks. There could have been a substantial reduction in the project timeline leading to cost savings, if mass-timber was used for the cores. The motivation for concrete cores was driven by the sole purpose of easier approval procedure. The objective of this thesis was to evaluate the possibility to design the Brock Commons building using mass-timber cores. First, the procedure for the approvals for tall timber buildings by understanding the code compliance for Brock Commons is discussed. Then, the actual building with concrete cores is modeled, with the model being calibrated with the results from the structural engineers of record. These concrete cores are then replaced by the same configuration using Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) cores to investigate the structural feasibility of Brock Commons with a mass-timber core. The results presented herein show that Brock Commons with CLT core having the same dimensions and configuration is unstable under seismic loading for Vancouver, BC, as specified by National Building of Canada 2015. However, when the configuration and thickness of CLT cores are changed, the structure can meet the seismic performance criteria as per the code.

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